skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on June 30, 2025

Title: Increasing undergraduate student interpreters’ fluency and accuracy in interpreting STEM content
Interpreters who are skilled in interpreting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) content fluently and accurately are few and far between. This issue is particularly true at the post-secondary level. Those interpreters who are available often do not have command of the vocabulary needed to interpret more specialized content and rely heavily on letter-for-letter fingerspelling and word-for-word transliteration. This project looked at the knowledge of the principles of fingerspelling on undergraduate student interpreters’ ability to interpret typical introductory biology lecture material accurately and fluently. Research involved modifying a signing bioscience dictionary (SBD), developing life science content summaries, creating videos of fingerspelling principles, and conducting an evaluation. Key findings showed participants’ knowledge of bioscience vocabulary was significantly improved with use of the SBD and that their ability to interpret typical biology lecture material fluently and accurately improved. After watching the videos and learning to apply the principles of fingerspelling, their fingerspelling scores also improved significantly. However, there was no significant improvement in biology content knowledge.

more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Forum for Linguistic Studies
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Forum for Linguistic Studies
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. null (Ed.)
    Purpose The aims of the study were to explore responses of children with developmental language disorder (DLD) to rich vocabulary instruction and to identify potential factors that contribute to outcomes. Method Children with DLD participated in a language intervention embedded within a science camp. Using parent and clinician reports, standardized tests, probes, notes, and video, we derived descriptions of seven of the campers who received a vocabulary intervention that incorporated principles of rich instruction. We present them here as a case series. Results Five cases responded to the intervention with modest gains in Tier 2 science vocabulary and science knowledge. One case demonstrated no response, and another was unable to complete the intervention. The latter two cases presented with triple risks: DLD, executive function deficits, and stressors associated with poverty. In comparison, the best responder also lived in poverty and had DLD, but he had intact executive function, strengths in extant vocabulary, stronger knowledge of science, better engagement in the science and language intervention activities, and was older. Other factors that seemed to contribute to outcomes included the complexity of the word forms and dosage. Conclusions Translating research on rich instruction to clinical practice is challenging. This case series motivated hypotheses about the nature of the challenge and what to do about it, the primary one being that the modest success of rich vocabulary instruction for children with DLD is not a limitation of the approach itself but rather a reflection of the difficulty of delivering the intervention while tailoring the targets, approach, and dosage to the needs of individual children with DLD. Supplemental Material 
    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    Children's early math skills have been hailed as a powerful predictor of academic success. Disparities in socioeconomic context, however, also have dramatic consequences on children's learning. It is therefore critical to investigate both of these distinct contributors in order to better understand the early foundations of children's academic outcomes. This study tests an integrated model of children's developing math ability so as to (1) identify the specific skills and abilities most clearly linked to early math achievement and (2) measure the influence of children's socioeconomic context on each of these skills. We first evaluated the early vocabulary, number word knowledge (knower level), and Approximate Number System (ANS) acuity of a diverse group of preschoolers. Then, approximately 1 year later as they entered Kindergarten, we administered a test of early math achievement. We find that children's early language (general vocabulary and number word knowledge) fully mediates the relationship between parent education and math ability. Additionally, number word knowledge mediates the relationship betweenANSacuity and early math. We argue that increased focus on number word knowledge, as well as general vocabulary, may help to minimize disparities in math ability as children enter kindergarten. We also highlight the role of parent education on children's learning and note that this may be an important locus for intervention.

    more » « less
  3. Online lecture videos are increasingly important e-learning materials for students. Automated content extraction from lecture videos facilitates information retrieval applications that improve access to the lecture material. A significant number of lecture videos include the speaker in the image. Speakers perform various semantically meaningful actions during the process of teaching. Among all the movements of the speaker, key actions such as writing or erasing potentially indicate important features directly related to the lecture content. In this paper, we present a methodology for lecture video content extraction using the speaker actions. Each lecture video is divided into small temporal units called action segments. Using a pose estimator, body and hands skeleton data are extracted and used to compute motion-based features describing each action segment. Then, the dominant speaker action of each of these segments is classified using Random forests and the motion-based features. With the temporal and spatial range of these actions, we implement an alternative way to draw key-frames of handwritten content from the video. In addition, for our fixed camera videos, we also use the skeleton data to compute a mask of the speaker writing locations for the subtraction of the background noise from the binarized key-frames. Our method has been tested on a publicly available lecture video dataset, and it shows reasonable recall and precision results, with a very good compression ratio which is better than previous methods based on content analysis. 
    more » « less
  4. The purpose of this study was to examine the ways in which teachers use language to promote vocabulary development (i.e., vocabulary talk moves) during science instruction in early-elementary classrooms. Twenty-four total science lessons were recorded by eight teachers, providing 894.27 min of observational data across three timepoints. Discourse analysis was used to identify specific research-aligned vocabulary talk moves. Findings revealed that the cohort of teachers used considerably more moves for building students’ knowledge of word meanings than for building students’ awareness of words and word learning or for interesting students in words and word learning. Likewise, the cohort used more authoritative moves (teacher telling) than dialogic moves (inviting student exploration and engagement). This study contributes to the field's understanding of the ways that science instruction supports literacy learning and literacy instruction supports science learning in the early-elementary grades. The findings from this study have implications for teacher professional development and policy.

    more » « less
  5. Recent research has investigated automatic methods for identifying how important each word in a text is for the overall message, in the context of people who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) viewing video with captions. We examine whether DHH users report benefits from visual highlighting of important words in video captions. In formative interview and prototype studies, users indicated a preference for underlining of 5%-15% of words in a caption text to indicate that they are important, and they expressed an interest for such text markup in the context of educational lecture videos. In a subsequent user study, 30 DHH participants viewed lecture videos in two forms: with and without such visual markup. Users indicated that the videos with captions containing highlighted words were easier to read and follow, with lower perceived task-load ratings, compared to the videos without highlighting. This study motivates future research on caption highlighting in online educational videos, and it provides a foundation for how to evaluate the efficacy of such systems with users. 
    more » « less