Facilitating cross-cultural understanding with learning activities supported by speech-to-text recognition and computer-aided translation

Rustam Shadiev, Yueh Min Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


We designed and implemented cross-cultural learning activities for this study. Participants from two countries, geographically located very far from each other, represented different cultures that have no communication language in common. Two systems were applied to learning activities in order to enable interaction and information exchange among the participants: (1) a speech-to-text recognition system, which generates texts from a speaker's voice input in his/her native language and (2) computer-aided translation system, which simultaneously translates texts into the language of the speaker's foreign peers. The goal was to test the feasibility of learning activities supported by the two systems and their effectiveness for cross-cultural learning. To this end, we evaluated participants' learning outcomes, analyzed their online communication with peers, and carried out a questionnaire survey and interviews with both the participants and their instructors. The use of multiple data sources allowed triangulation of the findings, thus adding rigor to the research. We obtained three findings through this study. First, cross-cultural learning took place. Second, the questionnaire and interview results show that the two systems are easy to use and useful for cross-cultural learning. According to participants, even with no common language, they could still interact and exchange culture-related information using the two systems. Finally, the results indicate that the texts produced by the two systems are acceptable and useful for the cross-cultural learning of participants (except texts translated from Russian into Chinese in the second week). These findings suggest that the educators and researcher can implement cross-cultural learning activities for participants with no common language with the support of speech-to-text recognition and computer-aided translation systems, as these two systems can help participants to communicate and exchange culture-related information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-141
Number of pages12
JournalComputers and Education
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Education


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