SpeechTutor 2.0 Software
The Speech Tutor system was designed to make it a meaningful tool for indicating graphically and numerically the degree of velopharyngeal closure during voiced speech and the pitch of the voice, and to make it easy to use both in the clinic and at home.
Speech Tutor contains two independent functions:
1. The Nasality Visualization System, or NVS
2. The Pitch Visualization System
Whether displaying nasality or pitch, the Speech Tutor uses two screens to accomplish all the needed functions. In addition to providing real-time nasalance and pitch displays for biofeedback applications, the software allows the user to record sounds or phrases, play them back, hear them, graphically represent them and, with both sight and sound, compare them to model productions or previous student efforts.
The Nasality mode of the Speech Tutor has two screens, Nasality Practice and Compare to Model that can be chosen by clicking on one of the two tabs at the upper left part of each screen. On either screen, at the lower right part of the screen, set the choice for the Correction level to match the type of handle you are using – Mask or Separator.
When starting the Speech Tutor, the Nasality mode will open, and the Nasality Practice screen displayed. The chart on this screen displays the last 5 or 10 seconds (user selectable) of nasalance values recorded after the Start button is clicked. After starting the recording, the Start button changes to a Stop button and can be clicked to stop recording and capture the last 5 or 10 seconds of the recording. Five seconds is the default interval, but ten seconds can be selected by clicking on Options at the lower left.
feedback, rapid progress
with the Nasality Practice activity, the student
can produce sounds, words or complete phrases, speaking into
the OroNasal mask. Transducers in the mask handle record sounds
and these are represented on the computer screen. Students see
how a velar posture or a pitch change compares to an on-screen
target or to a model pattern. This clear feedback lets students
find out immediately if they are practicing correctly.
On the Nasality Practice screen, a
bar graph indicates the level of nasalance being produced. Visual
targets can be set, allowing the student to see and aim, in sounds
produced, for the target. Average nasalance over a complete phrase
or sentence is also calculated and displayed.
In the Compare to Model activity,
an on-screen graph represents a pre-recorded model or a student-created
model, which the student can attempt to improve on.
in the Pitch Mode the student can work with Compare
to Model and Pitch Practice activities.
Another important performance measure, time within target range,
is also measured in the Pitch mode. As on the Nasality Practice screen, the Pitch Practice screen is selected by clicking on the tab at the upper left, and, when Start is clicked on, records continuously until recording is stopped. (As on the Nasality Practice screen, the Stop key appears to replace the Start key during recording.) When recording is stopped, only the last 5 or 10 seconds is retained, that is, the length of the Time scale, as set under Options.