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The SLaTE 2013 Workshop

Pierre Badin, Thomas Hueber, Gérard Bailly, Martin Russell, Helmer Strik

SLTC Newsletter, November 2013

SLaTE 2013 was the 5th workshop organised by the ISCA Special Interest Group on Speech and Language Technology for Education. It took place between 30th August and 1st September 2013 in Grenoble, France as a satellite workshop of Interspeech 2013. The workshop was attended by 68 participants from 20 countries. Thirty eight submitted papers and 14 demonstrations were presented in oral and poster sessions.

SLaTE 2013

SLaTE is the ISCA Special Interest Group (SIG) on Speech and Language Technology in Education. SLaTE 2013 was the 5th SLaTE workshop, with previous workshops in Farmington (USA, 2007), Wroxall Abbey (UK, 2009), Tokyo (Japan, 2010) and Venice (Italy, 2011). It was organised by Pierre Badin, Gérard Bailly, Thomas Hueber and Didier Demolin from GIPSA-lab, and Françoise Raby from LIDILEM.

SLaTE 2013 was attended by 68 participants from 20 countries. Thirty eight submitted papers and 14 demonstrations were presented in oral and poster sessions over three days. SLaTE 2013 also featured plenary lectures by invited speakers, each an expert in his or her field. Diane Litman (University of Pittsburgh) presented her work on enhancing the effectiveness of spoken dialogue for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. Jozef Colpaert (Universiteit Antwerpen) described his work on the role and shape of speech technologies in well-designed language learning environments. The third invited speaker, Mary Beckman (Ohio State University), was unable to attend the workshop and her talk on enriched technology-based annotation and analysis of child speech was presented by Benjamin Munson (University of Minnesota).

Topics covered in the regular technical sessions included speech technologies for children and children's education, computer assisted language learning (CALL), and prosody, phonetics and phonology issues in speech and language in education.

The SLaTE Assembly was held on Saturday 31st August. Martin Russell (University of Birmingham, UK) and Helmer Strik (Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands) were re-elected as chair and secretary/treasurer of SLaTE, respectively. The assembly felt that SLaTE has become a successful and established SIG, with regular workshops typically attracting 70 attendees and 45 submitted papers. Nevertheless there was an enthusiasm for improving and expanding SLaTE, leading to a discussion about the future locations and frequency of SLaTE workshops - because SLaTE is currently a biennial satellite workshop of Interspeech, it will always be in Europe. The discussion expanded to include special sessions at SLaTE, invited plenary talks, the submitted paper acceptance rate, and possible colocation with other conferences. It was agreed that a questionnaire covering these issues will be circulated to the SLaTE mailing list.

In addition to its technical content, SLaTE 2013 featured an excellent social programme, including a cheese and wine reception in the sunny courtyard of the bar 'Le Saxo' in Grenoble, and a banquet accessed by Grenoble's bastille cable car in the ''Chez le Pèr Gras'' restaurant in the mountains overlooking the city.

The next SLaTE workshop will be held in Leipzig in 2015, as a satellite event of Interspeech 2015.

Acknowledgements and more information

Pierre Badin (Pierre.Badin@gipsa-lab.grenoble-inp.fr), Thomas Hueber (Thomas.Hueber@gipsa-lab.grenoble-inp.fr) and Gérard Bailly (Gerard.Bailly@gipsa-lab.grenoble-inp.fr) are at GIPSA-lab, CNRS - Grenoble-Alps University, France, Martin Russell (m.j.russell@bham.ac.uk) is at the University of Birmingham, UK, Helmer Strik (w.strik@let.ru.nl) is at Radboud University, the Netherlands