Date of Award

5-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)

First Reader

Andrew Cencini

Second Reader

Hope Casto

Abstract

For children learning their first language, reading is one of the most effective ways to acquire new vocabulary. Studies link students who read more with larger and more complex vocabularies. For second language learners, there is a substantial barrier to reading. Even the books written for early first language readers assume a base vocabulary of nearly 7000 word families and a nuanced understanding of grammar. This project will look at ways that technology can help second language learners overcome this high barrier to entry, and the effectiveness of learning through reading for adults acquiring a foreign language. Through the implementation of Dokusha, an automatic graded reader generator for Japanese, this project will explore how advancements in natural language processing can be used to automatically simplify text for extensive reading in Japanese as a foreign language.

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