Document Type : Original/Review Paper


1 Faculty of New Sciences and Technologies, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Speech Therapy, School of Rehabilitation, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


One of the main problems in children with learning difficulties is the weakness of phonological awareness (PA) skills. In this regard, PA tests are used to evaluate this skill. Currently, this assessment is paper-based for the Persian language. To accelerate the process of the assessments and make it engaging for children, we propose a computer-based solution that is a comprehensive Persian phonological awareness assessment system implementing expressive and pointing tasks. For the expressive tasks, the solution is powered by recurrent neural network-based speech recognition systems. To this end, various recognition modules are implemented, including a phoneme recognition system for the phoneme segmentation task, a syllable recognition system for the syllable segmentation task, and a sub-word recognition system for three types of phoneme deletion tasks, including initial, middle, and final phoneme deletion. The recognition systems use bidirectional long short-term memory neural networks to construct acoustic models. To implement the recognition systems, we designed and collected Persian Kid’s Speech Corpus that is the largest in Persian for children’s speech. The accuracy rate for phoneme recognition was 85.5%, and for syllable recognition was 89.4%. The accuracy rates of the initial, middle, and final phoneme deletion were 96.76%, 98.21%, and 95.9%, respectively.


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