The REAP Project:
Reader-Specific Lexical Practice for Improved Reading Comprehension

Project Description
Demos - Try REAP Online
People
Papers and Presentations
Sponsors

Project Description

The core ideas of the project are i) a search engine that finds text passages satisfying very specific lexical constraints, ii) selecting materials from an open-corpus (the Web), thus satisfying a wide range of student interests and classroom needs, and iii) the ability to model an individual.s degree of acquisition and fluency for each word in a constantly-expanding lexicon so as to provide student-specific practice and remediation. This combination enables research on a wide range of reading comprehension topics that were formerly difficult to investigate. These ideas, and the style of research they enable, are the primary contributions.

The project includes a series of studies that test the central instructional implication of this project: Texts that closely reflect the readers' vocabulary and comprehension level can be used to support reading comprehension and vocabulary growth. The goal of these studies is to test the feasibility of text-to-reader matching on vocabulary while simultaneously testing hypotheses about the relationship between vocabulary-stretch and comprehension. Our high-level hypothesis is that moderate stretch can be tolerated and can even produce increased learning of word meanings, whereas long stretches, because they tax the reader's ability to understand, may not. Reader characteristics are also important. Individuals vary in their tolerance of text difficulty and their tolerance likely depends on their incentive to read a given text, as well as reading ability and vocabulary knowledge.

Three year-long studies will be carried out with both adults and children. The adult studies will provide detailed results on vocabulary matching and comprehension. The study with 4th through 6th grade children will test the specific hypothesis that children will read adaptively to texts that vary in vocabulary demands.


Demos

You can view a video demo of the REAP tutor. (Formats: [Flash][AVI][MOV])

There is also a French-version demo.

Lexicon-based Reading Difficulty Prediction - Try REAP Online


People

Faculty PostDocs Grad Students Staff
Jamie Callan
Maxine Eskenazi
Chuck Perfetti
Alan Juffs
Lois Wilson
Gregory Mizera
Gwen Frishkoff
Oscar Saz
D. J. Bolger
Kevyn Collins-Thompson
Michael Heilman
Eve Landen
Juan Pino
Anagha Kulkarni
Le Zhao
Luis Marujo
Adam Skory
Gabriel Parent
Kevin Dela Rosa
Rui Correia
Yibin Lin

Papers and Presentations

  • Dela Rosa, K. and Eskenazi, M. (2011). Self-Assessment of Motivation: Explicit and Implicit Indicators in L2 Vocabulary Learnin. Proceedings of the 15th International Conferenced on Artificial Intelligence in Education [PDF]

  • Dela Rosa, K. and Eskenazi, M. (2011). Effect of Word Complexity on L2 Vocabulary Learning. Proceedings of the 6th Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications. ACL/HLT 2011. [PDF]

  • Dela Rosa, K. and Eskenazi, M. (2011). Impact of Word Sense Disambiguation on Ordering Dictionary Definitions in Vocabulary Learning Tutors. Proceedings of the 24th International FLAIRS Conference. [PDF]

  • Dela Rosa, K., Parent, G., and Eskenazi, M. (2010). Multimodal Learning of Words: A Study on the Use of Speech Synthesis to Reinforce Written Text in L2 Language Learning. Proceedings of the SLaTE Workshop on Speech and Language Technology in Education. [PDF]

  • Marujo, L., Lopes, J., Mamede, N., Trancoso, I., Pino, J., Eskenazi, M., Baptista, J. and Viana, C. (2009) Porting REAP to European Portuguese. Proceedings of the SLaTE Workshop on Speech and Language Technology in Education. [PDF]

  • Pino, J. and Eskenazi, M. (2009) Semi-Automatic Generation of Cloze Question Distractors Effect of Students' L1. Proceedings of the SLaTE Workshop on Speech and Language Technology in Education. [PDF]

  • Pino, J. and Eskenazi, M. (2009) An Application of Latent Semantic Analysis to Word Sense Discrimination for Words with Related and Unrelated Meanings. Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications. NAACL/HLT 2009. [PDF]

  • Pino, J. and Eskenazi, M. (2009) Measuring Hint Level in Open Cloze Questions. Proceedings of the 22nd FLAIRS Conference. [PDF]

  • Pino, J., Heilman, M. and Eskenazi, M. (2008) A Selection Strategy to Improve Cloze Question Quality. Proceedings of the Workshop on Intelligent Tutoring Systems for Ill-Defined Domains. 9th International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems. [PDF]

  • Heilman, M., Collins-Thompson, K., and Eskenazi, M. (2008) An Analysis of Statistical Models and Features for Reading Difficulty Prediction. The 3rd Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications. Association for Computational Linguistics. [PDF]

  • Heilman, M., Zhao, L., Pino, J., and Eskenazi, M. (2008) Retrieval of Reading Materials for Vocabulary and Reading Practice. The 3rd Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications. Association for Computational Linguistics. [PDF]

  • Kulkarni, A., Heilman, M., Eskenazi, M., and Callan, J. (2008) Word Sense Disambiguation for Vocabulary Learning. Ninth International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems. [PDF]

  • Heilman, M., Eskenazi, M. (2008) Self-Assessment in Vocabulary Tutoring. Ninth International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems. (poster) [PDF]

  • Feeney, C., Heilman, M. (2008) Automatically Generating and Validating Reading-Check Questions. Ninth International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems. (poster) [PDF]

  • Kulkarni, A., Callan, J., & Eskenazi, M. (2007) Dictionary Definitions: The Likes and the Unlikes. Proceedings of the SLaTE Workshop on Speech and Language Technology in Education. [PDF]

  • Heilman, M. & Eskenazi, M. (2007). Application of Automatic Thesaurus Extraction for Computer Generation of Vocabulary Questions. Proceedings of the SLaTE Workshop on Speech and Language Technology in Education. [PDF]

  • Heilman, M., Juffs, A., & Eskenazi, M. (2007). Choosing Reading Passages for Vocabulary Learning by Topic to Increase Intrinsic Motivation. Proceedings of the 13th International Conferenced on Artificial Intelligence in Education. Marina del Rey, CA. (poster) [PDF]

  • Heilman, M., Collins-Thompson, K., Callan, J., and Eskenazi, M. (2007). Combining Lexical and Grammatical Features to Improve Readability Measures for First and Second Language Texts. Proceedings of the Human Language Technology Conference. Rochester, NY. [PDF]

  • Heilman, M. & Eskenazi, M. (2006). Authentic, Individualized Practice for English as a Second Language Vocabulary. Presented at Interfaces of Intelligent Computer-Assisted Language Learning Workshop at the Ohio State University, Columbus, OH. Unpublished. [PDF]

  • Heilman, M., Collins-Thompson, K., Callan, J. & Eskenazi, M. (2006). Classroom success of an Intelligent Tutoring System for lexical practice and reading comprehension. Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing. [PDF]

  • Heilman, M. & Eskenazi, M. (2006). Language Learning: Challenges for Intelligent Tutoring Systems. Proceedings of the Workshop of Intelligent Tutoring Systems for Ill-Defined Domains. 8th International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems. [PDF]

  • J. Brown, G. Frishkoff, and M. Eskenazi. (2005). Automatic question generation for vocabulary assessment. Proceedings of HLT/EMNLP 2005. Vancouver, B.C.

  • J. Brown and M. Eskenazi. (2005). Student, text and curriculum modeling for reader-specific document retrieval.. Proceedings of the IASTED International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction 2005. Phoenix, AZ.

  • J. Brown and M. Eskenazi. (2004). Retrieval of authentic documents for reader-specific lexical practice. Proceedings of InSTIL/ICALL Symposium 2004. Venice, Italy.

  • K. Collins-Thompson and J. Callan. (2005) Query expansion using random walk models. Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM'05). ACM.

  • K. Collins-Thompson and J. Callan. (2005). Predicting reading difficulty with statistical reading models. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

  • K. Collins-Thompson and J. Callan. (2004). Information retrieval for language tutoring: An overview of the REAP project (poster description). Proceedings of the Twenty Seventh Annual International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval. Sheffield, UK.

  • K. Collins-Thompson and J. Callan. (2004). A language modeling approach to predicting reading difficulty. Proceedings of the HLT/NAACL 2004 Conference. Boston.

  • A. Juffs, L. Wilson, M. Eskenazi, J. Callan, J. Brown, K. Collins-Thompson, M. Heilman, T. Pelletreau, and J. Sanders. (2006.) Robust learning of vocabulary: investigating the relationship between learner behaviour and the acquisition of vocabulary (poster). The 40th Annual TESOL Convention and Exhibit (TESOL 2006).

  • C. A. Perfetti, E. W. Wlotko, & L. A. Hart. (2005). Word learning and individual differences in word learning reflected in ERPs. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition.

  • C. A. Perfetti, N. Landi, & J. Oakhill. (2005). The acquisition of reading comprehension skill. In M. J. Snowling & C. Hulme (Eds.), The science of reading: A handbook (pp. 227-247). Oxford: Blackwell.

  • L. Si and J. Callan. (2001). A statistical model for scientific readability (poster description). Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM) (pp. 574-576). ACM.


Sponsors

U.S. Department of Education
Institute for Education Sciences
Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center

Updated on Oct 20, 2011.
http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~yibinl/