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computerized language sample analysis


Digital Equipment

Digital Equipment Suggestions

Going digital for language samples is a relatively easy process. Digital files improve the overall quality of the language sample and simplify the transcription process. There are three basic steps to working with digital files: 1) record the language sample with a digital audio or video recorder, 2) transfer the digital file to your computer, and 3) control the playback of the digital file while you transcribe the sample.

Digital Recorders

There are a multitude of digital recorders on the market, including IPads and other computer tablets, as well as most smart phones. The Olympus WS-852 is an example of an inexpensive recorder which offers a quality recording, ample recording time, and is priced around $50. It has a USB connection to transfer the recordings to your computer.

Using an iPad, iPod, or iPhone to record samples

Digital Play-back Options

There are several options for controlling the playback of digital audio files for transcription. If you're doing a lot of transcription, invest in a good foot pedal control as it will reduce the transcription time and improve the overall accuracy of the transcript. If you're just getting started or your budget is limited, check out the software options.

Express Scribe: NCH Software (Recommended)
for Windows® and Mac

Software control: Express Scribe controls playback of digital audio and video files using system-wide hot keys to allow control of the playback while you type the text into the SALT editor. 2019 prices: free download (audio) and $50 (audio and video).

Foot pedal control: Express Scribe also works with a variety of foot pedals, many of which can be purchased directly from NCH Software for around $100.

Start-Stop Foot Pedal Transcription Systems
for Windows® only

Foot pedal control: Foot pedal transcription systems to control playback of digital audio and video files. Use the foot pedal to control the playback while you type directly into the SALT editor. 2019 prices: $169 (audio) and $249 (audio and video).

Sound Scriber: Eric Breck, University of Michigan
for Windows® only

Software control: Software to control playback of digital audio files with options for variable speed and a feature called "walking" which plays a small stretch of the file several times, then advances to a new piece, overlapping slightly with the previous one. Use the software to control the playback while you type directly into the SALT editor. 2019 price: free download (audio).

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