Becoming Better Versed: Towards the Design of a Popular Music-based Rhyming Game for Disadvantaged Youths

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Conference Proceeding

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: This study examines patterns of rhyme identification among English Language Learners (ELLs) towards the development of an educational game, JOLLY, intended to improve phonemic awareness among school-aged children in the Philippines. Leveraging on students’ intrinsic interest in Western popular music, we ask students to identify rhyming words from among the song lyrics. We find that the extent to which an English phoneme is similar to a Tagalog phoneme determines how likely it is to be identified. From these findings, we draw implications on how JOLLY’s underlying domain model can be structured with each song as a learning object and each learning object consisting of an inventory of phonemes to be mastered. We also recommend the use of open, possibly social, student models to help learners track their progress and that of their peers.