Research group

Associate Professor, active 2019–2023

My role is the leader of the consortium, and I am also in charge of the pedagogical and language assessment related components of the endeavor. My duties further include maintaining contacts with important collaborators like language teachers´ associations, National agency of education and The Finnish Matriculation Examination Board. 

Expertise: language pedagogy, language teaching, language assessment, teacher study, teacher education, oral language skills, social impact of assessments, learner autonomy

raili.hilden@helsinki.fi

Professor, active 2019–2023

My research interests include machine learning in speech and language technology such as speech recognition, synthesis, retrieval, translation, and assessment of language skills. My role in DigiTala is to lead speech technology research and connect with the other related projects in my research group at Aalto. In the field of speech and language processing, Aalto’s research results have been widely utilized via our open source tools and data, e.g., Morfessor, VariKN, TheanoLM, AaltoASR, DSPCon, WebCon, Finnish Parliament speech corpus, and Lahjoita puhetta.

Expertise: speech recognition, speech and language processing, language technology, machine learning

mikko.kurimo@aalto.fi

Senior Lecturer, Docent, active 2019–2023

In the project, I contribute to the phonetic analyses of the Swedish data and study the underlying phonetic components which are relevant in spoken L2 assessment. I will also contribute to the training of teachers to do rating of learners’ speaking performances.

Expertise: Swedish language, phonetics, phonology, pronunciation assessment, listener ratings

mikko.j.kuronen@jyu.fi

Post-doctoral Researcher, active 2019–2023

My work focuses on the pedagogic part of the research project. I'm working with the teachers and students of upper secondary schools as we research and pilot new task types for assessing speaking. 

Expertise: foreign languages, language teaching, language assessment, language tests, the Finnish Matriculation Examination

anna.vonzansen@helsinki.fi

University lecturer, active 2020–2021

My work in the project focuses on the phonological analyses of L2 Swedish and studying which features of L2 Swedish are connected with specific CEFR ratings.

Expertise: Swedish language, assessment, phonetics, phonology, CEFR scales, listener ratings

maria.kautonen@uef.fi

Professor, active 2020–2023

My research interests include assessments that support learning (e.g., diagnostic and formative assessment), self-assessment and feedback, assessing and rating writing, computer-based assessment, and combining second language acquisition research and language testing perspectives in research.

Expertise:

ari.huhta@jyu.fi

Doctoral Candidate

My role in this project is about implementing automatic speech recognition. Also, I transmit and combine information between the first and the ongoing phase in DigiTala project.

Expertise: speech recognition, automatic speech recognition, speech modeling

aku.rouhe@aalto.fi

Doctoral Candidate, active 2019–2023

My role is to devise and adapt approaches of L2 speaking proficiency assessment by automatically evaluating L2 learners' pronunciation, lexical and grammatical skills using state-of-the-art NLP techniques.

Expertise: natural language processing, automatic speech recognition, second language assessment, CEFR scale

ragheb.al-ghezi@aalto.fi

Post-doctoral researcher, active 2021–2023

I investigate how acoustic measures of L2 speech can be of use in predicting oral proficiency.

Expertise: speech science, acoustic analysis, phonetics, L2 prosody

heini.h.kallio@jyu.fi

Doctoral Candidate, active 2020–2023

My work in the project is related to the development of automatic speech recognition and automatic assessment of language skills.

Expertise: automatic speech recognition, natural language processing

yaroslav.getman@aalto.fi

Technical assistant, active 2021–2022 

My job is to assist in different tasks of the project, for example, organizing data collection days in schools, processing and organizing research material, etc. 

Expertise: language learning, language education, foreign languages, upper secondary schools 

milla.sneck@helsinki.fi

Master's candidate, active 2022–

I am working on the automatic speech assessment of lexical and grammatical quality in order to evaluate the proficiency of second language speakers.

Expertise: natural language processing

clara.akiki@aalto.fi

Master's Candidate, active 2022

Expertise: speech recognition, natural language processing

mateiu.tudor@aalto.fi