Neclle: Network-based communicative language-learning environment focusing on communicative gaps

Hiroaki Ogata, Yuqin Liu, Youji Ochi, Yoneo Yano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This paper focuses on the problem of language transfer in foreign language learning. The transfer often leads to a communicative gap, which is caused by the difference between a learner's mother language (ML) and the target language (TL). This paper first analyzes the semantic relations between the ML and the TL. Then it proposes a CGM (Communicative Gap Model) because of the meaning difference between both languages. We have developed a computer assisted language-learning system called Neclle (Network-based Communicative Language-Learning Environment) in order to support foreign language learning through communication using a text based chat tool. Neclle has a software agent called Ankle (Agent for Kanji Learning), which observes the conversation between a learner and a native speaker, looks up a communicative gap in the learner's utterance automatically according to CGM, the student model and the word dictionary of both languages, intervenes into the conversation, and gives an instruction for bridging the gap. Then, the learner can not only be aware of the gap but also acquire its cultural background from the native speaker. In our case study, Chinese students used Neclle for Japanese language learning. Japanese language had incorporated with Chinese kanji but the meaning of a kanji sometimes differed between two languages. Therefore, the Chinese learners who want to study Japanese language have to pay much attention to the meaning gap between Chinese and Japanese language. In the evaluation of Neclle, nine Chinese students talked with Japanese students about three topics with Neclle for 1 h 30 min. The results of the experiment showed that it was very useful for Japanese language learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-240
Number of pages16
JournalComputers and Education
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Education


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