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The aim of the MITRAS project is to improve the retrieval, processing and presentation of web content -- text and speech/audio -- according to the needs of non-native speakers with insufficient knowledge of a particular language.
Since mobility within the EU is unthinkable without reasonable knowledge of the language of the country people want to settle in, MITRAS will focus on a multilingual approach as well as a deeper analysis in terms of language processing in information retrieval and extraction. The
languages to be investigated in the project are Chinese, English, Finnish, German, Greek, Italian, Russian, Slovene and Swedish which together represent a typologically diverse sample of languages.
Digital technologies such as the Internet provide a spectrum of authentic multimodal materials representing various established genres of text and audio such as stories (news, blogs), facts (reports, instructions) and evaluations (editorials, reviews). However there is a shortage of methodologies and tools which would allow learners and teachers to successfully exploit these novel communication resources in the learning process which leaves selection of learning material to the subjective and intuitive role of the teacher.
The project aims at developing building blocks for an intelligent customizable dedicated web search engine and a Reader Assistant which can be used for grading of texts from the web according to difficulty and also for identifying difficult parts of texts retrieved from the Internet. Furthermore a core engine for multilingual information retrieval (MIR) will be developed in order to retrieve relevant learning material requested by a user. Special attention will be given to creation of a robust project infrastructure as well as representing the project data in already established standards of the EU-projects CLARIN and META-NET.