Teaching iSTART to understand Spanish

Mihai Dascalu, Matthew E. Jacovina, Christian M. Soto, Laura K. Allen, Jianmin Dai, Tricia A. Guerrero, Danielle McNamara

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


iSTART is a web-based reading comprehension tutor. A recent translation of iSTART from English to Spanish has made the system available to a new audience. In this paper, we outline several challenges that arose during the development process, specifically focusing on the algorithms that drive the feedback. Several iSTART activities encourage students to use comprehension strategies to generate self-explanations in response to challenging texts. Unsurprisingly, analyzing responses in a new language required many changes, such as implementing Spanish natural language processing tools and rebuilding lists of regular expressions used to flag responses. We also describe our use of an algorithm inspired from genetics to optimize the Fischer Discriminant Function Analysis coefficients used to determine self-explanation scores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationArtificial Intelligence in Education - 18th International Conference, AIED 2017, Proceedings
EditorsElisabeth Andre, Xiangen Hu, Ma. Mercedes T. Rodrigo, Benedict du Boulay, Ryan Baker
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9783319614243
StatePublished - 2017
Event18th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, AIED 2017 - Wuhan, China
Duration: Jun 28 2017Jul 1 2017

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume10331 LNAI
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other18th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, AIED 2017


  • Intelligent tutoring systems
  • Natural language processing
  • Optimizing score prediction
  • Reading comprehension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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