Home > audience-is-students, audience-is-teachers, corpora, e-languages, Writing > Learn and teach writing in your second language on Lang-8.com

Learn and teach writing in your second language on Lang-8.com

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Improving language learning with technology for me seems to have 2 avenues: AI and human intelligence. Automated feedback on writing provided by proofing tools – even if they have become smarter and more contextual to spot (in MS-Word 2007 and up) common errors like your/you’re or their/there – makes one wonder about the feasibility of the former. But that automated essay-scoring tools which have been developed and deployed (at least for ESL) claim to score similarly as teachers makes one wonder about much more… Correcting writing remains expensive!

So may be we should look into crowd-sourced writing correction which needs no cutting edge NLP, only well-understood WWW-infrastructural technology to connect interested parties, but requires social engineering to attract and keep good contributors (and a viable business model  to stay afloat: This site seems freemium).

Reading online comments and postings in your native language makes one wonder: can language teachers be replaced by crowdsourcing? I became aware of this the language learning website that offers peer correction of writing input by native-speaker through a language learner corpus. I have not thoroughly evaluated the site, but the fact that its data is being used by SLA researchers here (http://cl.naist.jp/nldata/lang-8/) seems a strong indicator that the work done on the website is of value.

To judge by the numbers accompanying the corpus (it is a snapshot from 2010, a newer version is available however on request), these are the most-represented L2 on lang-8.com:  image

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