Vocabulary learning is a difficult task for children without hearing ability. Absence of enough learning centers and effective learning tools aggravate the problem. Modern technology can be utilized fruitfully to find solutions to the learning difficulties experienced by the deaf. The purpose of this paper is to present SiLearn – a novel technology based tool for teaching/learning sign vocabulary.Design/methodology/approachThe proposed mobile application can act as a visual dictionary for deaf people. SiLearn is equipped with features that can automatically detect both text and physical objects and convert them to their corresponding signs. For testing the effectiveness of the proposed mobile application quantitative analyses were done. Quantitative analysis is based on testing a class of 28 students belonging to St Clare Oral School for the Deaf, Kerala, India. This group consisted of 17 boys and 11 girls. Analysis was also done through questionnaire. Questionnaires were given to teachers, parents of deaf students learning sign language and other sign language learners.FindingsResults indicate that as SiLearn is very effective in sign vocabulary development. It can enhance vocabulary learning rate considerably.Originality/valueThis is the first time that artificial intelligence (AI) based techniques are used for early stage sign language learning. SiLearn can equally be used by children, parents and teachers for learning sign language.
Journal of Enabling Technologies – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 3, 2019
Keywords: Assistive technology; Sign language; CALL; Deaf education; Learning technology; Mobile-assisted language learning