Kei-Wai Leung's MSEE Thesis Abstract

The Nihongo Tutorial System for Learning Technical Japanese

M.S.E.E., Purdue University, May 1990

Major Professor: Anthony A. Maciejewski

In the past few years, there has been an increasing demand for people to learn technical Japanese, especially in areas such as engineering and computer science. Japanese is generally regarded as one of the most difficult languages for English-speaking people to learn, and the lack of qualified Japanese instructors and relevant instructional material makes this task of study even more difficult. Given these problems, the Nihongo tutorial system has been developed in order to assist people in learning technical Japanese. The goal of this tutorial system is to improve a student's reading competence by maximizing comprehension through context.

The Nihongo tutorial system is composed of three components: the Nihongo Tutor, the Parse Tree Editor and the Administrator. The Nihongo tutor, through, providing personalized technical Japanese lessons, helps the student to learn the general concepts of usage, meaning and pronunciation of Japanese text. It also records the student's current level of Japanese proficiency in his database. The Parse Tree Editor is used to prepare courseware for the tutor by incorporating syntactic, semantic and phonetic information into the parse tree data structure representing each sentence in an article. The Administrator selects an appropriate lesson for the student to study, which is based on his current Japanese language proficiency and technical areas of interest.