Arjun R. Rao


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Context Based Approach for Second Language Acquisition
Nihal V. Nayak | Arjun R. Rao
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications

SLAM 2018 focuses on predicting a student’s mistake while using the Duolingo application. In this paper, we describe the system we developed for this shared task. Our system uses a logistic regression model to predict the likelihood of a student making a mistake while answering an exercise on Duolingo in all three language tracks - English/Spanish (en/es), Spanish/English (es/en) and French/English (fr/en). We conduct an ablation study with several features during the development of this system and discover that context based features plays a major role in language acquisition modeling. Our model beats Duolingo’s baseline scores in all three language tracks (AUROC scores for en/es = 0.821, es/en = 0.790 and fr/en = 0.812). Our work makes a case for providing favourable textual context for students while learning second language.