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Educational Multimedia Dictionary

Kotsanis, Y. (2000). Educational Multimedia Dictionary, Comlex 2000, Computational Lexicography and Multimedia Dictionaries, Achaia, Greece, 22-23 September 2000.

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Educational Multimedia Dictionary

  1. 1. EDUCATIONAL MULTIMEDIA DICTIONARY Yannis Kotsanis Doukas School S.A. Mesogion 151, Maroussi 151 25, Greece ABSTRACT The "Educational Multimedia Dictionary" (EMD) is a computer based reference and training tool of lexical data and aspects of the Greek Language re- lated to them. EMD is a user-friendly, interactive and explorative multimedia environment (with a “book” metaphor), which includes well-defined educational material for use in individual, group and classroom study, especially designed for chil- dren between ages 8-14. The EMD educational software is based on a user environment, which contains the electronic dictionaries with 8 linguis- tic games and a supporting environment, which undertakes the management and processing of lex- ical and audio-visual databases of the system. It has been developed within the framework of the research program DIALOGOS: Improvement of Man-Machine Communication using Language Technology, under the ILSP co-ordination (GSRT, EPET-II). Keywords: educational multimedia software, ma- chine-readable dictionaries, lexical databases, lin- guistic games, Greek language. 1. INTRODUCTION The “Educational Multimedia Dictionary” (EMD) is a teaching and reference multimedia tool which was developed (by Exodus S.A.) within the framework of the project “DIALOGOS: Improve- ment of Man and Machine Communication with the use of Language Technology” (supported by the grant: EPET II, General Secretariat of Re- search and Development, Project 715, Coordina- tor: Institute for Language and Speech Processing - ILSP, 1996-98), focusing on lexical and related da- ta of the modern Greek language. It is known that students learn best when they are actively involved in the learning process and when there is more than one media involved. The great advantage of multimedia is that they provide both these positive learning contexts in a way that mo- tivates trainees. Hypermedia can make the teacher act as facilitator/handler of information and stu- dents as active learners. In essence, hypermedia expose students to multiple contents and contexts by the diversity of media as well as stimulate a va- riety of cognitive processes. The linguistic design of the dictionary is based on the combination of a theoretical description given by the lexicographical model (used by ILSP) with the pragmatic issues posed by the potential user requirements. The definition and creation of the macrostructure of the dictionary (i.e. the words that will be included) and the microstructure of the dictionary entry (what type of lexical information is included, the features which will be used for the codification, and how it is presented to the user) takes into account a distinctive mode of presenta- tion of the lexical data, that conforms to the needs of the young user. The “Educational Multimedia Dictionary” contains original material in machine-readable form to be used by individuals and tutorial groups. It is de- signed for children between ages 8-14, providing the interactivity and the various possibilities of multimedia navigation. It features an ergonomic user interface using a “book” metaphor and a friendly but powerful data accessibility through multiple criteria. It is based on the following two sub-systems: a user environment, with electronic dictionaries and various multimedia linguistic games, and a system environment, with lexical and audio-visual data bases, that include the text, graphics, images and sounds of the dictionary. The construction of the EMD profited from existing dictionaries, in regards to design and the already coded existing linguistic data. In its current version the EMD contains:  5.500 lemmas with definitions (basic mean- ing), examples, etymology, hyphenation, syn-
  2. 2. onyms, antonyms, morphological and gram- matical features and pronunciation,  3.000 lemmas with logical related words,  70.000 derivatives and compound words with related information,  160.000 inflected words – types in ortho- graphic or phonetic form (alphabetical order from left to right and from right to left), relat- ed to morpho-syntactic features,  1.200 pictures and graphics related to lemmas and 500 sounds produced by the object of ref- erence. 2. DESCRIPTION OF THE SYSTEM The Educational Multimedia Dictionary includes two basic sub-systems:  the user environment, which corresponds to the user interface modules of the system, and  the supporting environment, which undertakes the management and processing of the lexical and audio-visual data of the system. The modules of the user environment are:  the electronic dictionary, which accesses, re- trieves and cross refers (with multiple criteria) the morphological, grammatical, semantic and audio-visual data of a well-defined educational lexicon,  various linguistic games, which use all the lex- ical and audio-visual data provided by the sys- tem, The user interacts with these modules of the sys- tem through the conceptual navigator, which is based on the “book” metaphor (see figure on the next page). Using this navigator the user can con- tinuously access all the lexical and audio-visual data of the electronic dictionary and selects the de- sired options/criteria by clicking on the tools of the book surface. The supporting environment consists of three main modules:  the morphological analyser which recognises the structure of the Greek words and produces or generates their inflected forms.  the data base manager, which is used for the retrieval of the available data, and  the four databases of the system, which con- tain all the data of the multimedia dictionary. A sample of the contents of data bases follows: a. lexical db: lexical entries, definitions, exam- ples, synonyms, antonyms, derivatives, in- flected forms, etymological, grammatical, morphological and semantic information, hypertext links, b. audio db: pronunciation for each lemma, sounds produced by defined items (e.g. ani- mals, tools), music themes, c. visual db: sketches, graphics, photographs, and d. user db: data defined by the user of the pro- gram. 3. THE DICTIONARIES All information of EMD is categorised in the following 4 Dictionaries:  Base (ΕΡΜΗΝΕΥΤΙΚΟ), lexical & audio-visual in formation  Morphological (ΚΛΙΤΙΚΟ), inflected wordforms  Derivational (ΠΑΡΑΓΩΓΙΚΟ), derivatives & compounds  Logical (ΛΟΓΙΚΟ). semantically related word groups
  3. 3. In the layout of the screen one of these sub-dictionaries is in the foreground and the other in the background. A background sub-dictionary becomes foreground just clicking on it. Interactivity with the application is achieved through the labels (options for the way that the information is presented) on the top of the book and the "miniature" tools at the bottom (buttons for help, back, set a bookmark, search, forward, print, stop). The most demanding task of EMD application was the MORPHOLOGICAL DICTIONARY. For the creation of this lexicon we adopted the following procedure: 1. Design the macrostructure of the lexical resource for which all morphological derivations are sought. 2. Choose a suitable existing generic morphological, analyser, for Modern Greek. 3. Feed the lexical resource to the morphological an- alyser 4. Produce: - all possible annotations for each wordform (pro- cess of wordform recognition) - all wordforms generated for each lemma (process of generation) 5. Store all wordforms in a DBMS is an appropriate schema The grounds on which this approach is justified are:  the macrostructure of the dictionary is small (8,000 entries)  no problems with storage capacity in the present technology were anticipated  better control over data by simplified storage of all and only the correct forms of each lemma will be gained The tool we chose to use is the ILSP morphological an- alyser and its supporting lexicon. The ILSP morpholog- ical analyser is a tool which, by looking-up into the ILSP Morphological Lexicon:  assigns the correct lemma to a given wordform,  assigns morphological features to given word- forms,  produces all inflected wordforms to a given lem- ma. The lexicon entries encode the following information for each lemma: special features  stress position  stress movement grammatical features  identity: word / stem / ending  grammatical category (part of speech)  number: singular / plural  case: nominative / genitive / accusative / non- inflected  gender: masculine, feminine / gender / common / masc - fem  person: first / second / third  tense: present / past / future  voice: active / passive  mood: indicative / imperative / subjunctive / infini- tive / participle Based on this method for storage and retrieval EMD support the following queries - searches:  by lemma (all word forms are produced with ap- propriate morphological features)  by wordform (the tool acts as lemmatiser)  by string of characters (initial, middle of final posi- tion characters)  by orthographic or phonetic incorrect form (similar words or wordforms are produced) The following screen presents an example that combines aphonetic and reverse string character search for the string "ipi" (γρίπη, κήποι, λίπη, ε- γκαταλείπει etc). An additional retrieval support of EMD is the search by illustration, (shown in the following screen).
  4. 4. 4. THE LINGUISTIC GAMES At the linguistic games module the user is at first faced with a map of central Athens where several pictures of well known libraries are drawn on as “hot spots”. The student is supposed to visit each of those libraries by clicking on the related picture. As soon as s/he moves in the building s/he is asked to play a linguistic game. In order for the student to successfully pass to the next game, some ques- tions need to be answered in each game. The Multimedia Crossword is an example of lin- guistic game. It is either the definition of the word in question or sound or a picture of it that is given as a clue to help the student find the appropriate word. Besides the lexical data base of synonyms and antonyms along with the sound data base which are incorporated to the supporting environ- ment of the system also feed the multimedia crossword with synonyms, antonyms or the sound of the objects. Apart from the multimedia crossword there is an- other game close to that, called the Acrostic. In this case the student creates vertically a word each let- ter of which is the first letter of a horizontal word. The lexical as well as the audio-visual databases provide the acrostic with the clues too. There are also games with hidden words and/or matches, which aim at the construction of other words, made up from randomly chosen letters, syl- lables or affixes. They also aim at the formation of derived and compound words using multiple grammatical and semantic criteria. As for the user environment, the linguistic games appear, exactly like the lexica, within the two pag- es of an open book. In specific, on the left page the multimedia crossword or the acrostic appears al- most in the middle of the page, while few instruc- tions on how the game is played are placed at the bottom of the page. On the right page the clues are numbered respectively to the answers. What also remains the same as in the lexical user environment is the letters along both sides of the pages sorted out in alphabetical order. The student may return to the lexicon to find out the meaning and the examples of the usage of an unknown word by only clicking on a letter, which is the first one of the word, in question. At the end of each game and after the student has tried to answer to the questions s/he collects as many points as the right answers are. The points of all the games are added and up to a certain number the student earns a voucher which is printed out and is to be exchanged with either a book or a CD- ROM of his/her choice from a multimedia store.
  5. 5. 5. CONCLUSION Apart from the apparent advantages that the tech- nology offers, the suggested Educational Multime- dia Dictionary contributes to the:  improvement and enhancement of Greek lan- guage training in a learning environment with attractive and entertaining features,  teaching of linguistic material through general and special vocabulary as well as terms from various subject matters,  assistance of morphological and, in general, linguistic analysis of literary and other texts and also to the writing of essays,  conservation of the Greek language tradition through a new approach,  need for a large demand for language tools by schools and training centres. The above system, as an educational product, takes advantage of the language teaching and other sub- ject matter taught in schools. It can be used in var- ious areas of the educational curriculum, from schools to organisations that possess the required technical infrastructure. 6. SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY DiSessa A., Hoyles C., Noss R. (1995), Computers and Exploratory Learning, NATO ASI Series F:146. Hofstetter F., Tway L. (1995), Multimedia Literacy, Mc Graw Hill. Kotsanis Y., Raptis K. et al (1998), User Needs Analy- sis for Educational Multimedia Dictionary, Tech. Report No 2.2.1, Doukas School (Research Pro- gram “DIALOGOS”, Co-ordinator ILSP, support- ed by the grant: EPET II, 715, GSRT). Ohmayl E. (1992) Simulation - Based Language Learn- ing, An Architecture and a Multimedia Authoring Tool, Ph-D Dissertation, Northwestern University, 1992. Papert S. (1993), The Children’s Machine, Rethinking School in the Age of the Computer, Basic Books, New York. Soloway E. ed (1993), Special issue: Technology in Education. Communications of the ACM, 36 (5). Sproat R. (1992), Morphology and Computation, MIT Press. Tinsley J. D., Van Weert T.J., eds. (1995), Liberating the Learner, Proceedings of the 6th IFIP, World Conference on Computers in Education (WCCE ‘95). Zampolli A., Calzolari N. eds (1989), Automating the Lexicon, Cambridge, MIT Press. Comlex 2000 Computational Lexicography and Multimedia Dictionaries Achaia, Greece, 22-23 September 2000