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									Computer support for second
 language learners’ free text
        production
      -Initial Studies-

O. Knutsson, T. Cerratto Pargman
    & K. Severinson Eklundh
  Royal Institute of Technology
      Stockholm - Sweden
Outline
   Introduction
   Background
   Theoretical Framework
   User Study
      The computer program : Granska

      Research questions

      Data collection and methods

      Preliminary findings

   Discussion
      Introduction

   Interest in the use of computer support for learning
    Swedish as a second language
   Focus on the use of computer-language tools for writers
    who can fluently write and speak in their mother tongue
   Goals :
      to study how writers develop their writing practices

       in the context of learning Swedish as a second
       language
      to contribute to improving the design of existing

       language tools for writing in learning contexts
    Writing in the acquisition of second language


   Writing turns speech and language into objects of
    reflection and analysis (Vygotsky, 1962; Luria, 1976)

   Far from transcribing speech, writing creates the
    categories in terms of which we become conscious of
    speech (Olson, 1995)
    Language tools for second language writers

   Computer language programs supporting free text
    production available in Swedish have been developed
    for native speakers:
        the grammar checker in Microsoft Word (Lingsoft)
        the research prototype Scarrie (Uppsala University)
        the prototype GRANSKA (Royal Institute of Technology)

   Most of the computer aided language learning programs
    available on the market rarely analyze learners’ written
    or spoken productions
Second-language learning processes

   The acquisition and development of a second language
    is regarded as a complex processes requiring the
    interplay of motivation, identity, context, culture,
    intellectual competence (Sjögren, 1996)

   Second-language learning is viewed as a combination
    of spontaneous, inductive learning with systematic,
    deductive learning strategies (Laurillard, 1993)
          A developmental perspective on
             the use of language tools

   Language tools are viewed as artifacts that become
    instruments through the writer’s activity (Rabardel, 1995)

   Language errors are a source for the understanding of
    how writers make sense and construct a new symbolic
    system (Scott, 2001)

   Written feedback is an important resource for the
    writers’ language understanding and construction of a
    new symbolic system (Cohen and Cavalcanti, 1990)
  Pilot study on the use of Granska in
  second-language writing environments

Aims :
 to study how the grammar checker, Granska,

  should be adapted to second language writers’
  needs
 to develop a method for assessing the use of

  Granska in a naturalistic environment
    Granska - a Swedish Grammar
               Checker

 It provides different functions such as grammar
checking and proofreading, linguistic editing
functions, language rules and help system
 It supports detection, diagnosis and correction of
language errors in the writer’s revision process
 It combines statistical and rule-based methods
             Research questions

   Does Granska support second language writers’
    revision process?
   What parts of Granska are most important to
    improve and develop further?
   Which are the research methods suitable for
    studying second language writers’ free text
    production?
       Data collection

User   Age    Native     Language      Time     No. of   Length    Graded
             language      level         of     texts      of       texts
                                       study             writing

 A      34   Spanish     Advanced        6       18      2240        4
                                       months            words

 B      37   Spanish    Intermediate     4       16       244        4
                                       months            words

 C      34   German      Advanced        2        1       190        1
                                       months            words
        Method

   Focus on free text production during the revision
    process
   Instructions to the users :
       ”Use Granska whenever you want and when you think it will
        help you”
       ”Save the original text and the final version revised with
        Granska”
   Analysis of users’ judgment of Granska’s alarms,
    detections, diagnoses and correction proposals
   Analysis of interviews with second language teachers
    Example : two versions of the same text for
    the study of users’ actions

Version 1 :
Hon skulle komma hit och träffas oss för att prata om våra gemensamma
intresse.
Diagnosis:      Om våra syftar på intresse är det kongruensfel
Proposals:      vårt gemensamma intresse
                våra gemensamma intressen

Version 2 :
Hon skulle komma hit och träffas oss för att prata om våra gemensamma
intresser.
Diagnosis:      Okänt ord
Proposals:      intressen
                intressera
    Teachers’ views of errors and written
    feedback

   The type of errors depends much on the level of the
    language reached
   Common errors are : syntactical errors, word order, verb
    inflection, agreement and use of prepositions

   Different approaches on written feedback
   Immediate written feedback and support for drafting
    processes could become useful for writers
Error type       Detections       Diagnoses           Corrections

                 No. of   Mean    No. of      Mean    No. of    Mean
                 judge-   value   judge-      value   judge-    value
                 ments            ments               ments

Typographical    0        -       0           -       0         -

Orthographical   18       4,6     18          3,9     16        4,2

Morphosynt.      4        4,0     4           3,8     3         3,7

Syntactical      13       3,5     13          3,2     8         4,5

Lexical          0        -       0           -       0         -

Semantic         0        -       0           -       0         -

Pragmatic        0        -       0           -       0         -

Style            0        -       0           -       0         -

All errors       35       4,1     35          3,6     27        4,2
Preliminary findings cont’
   Users repaired spelling errors without feedback
    from the program
   Users followed Granska’s advice if correctional
    proposal was provided
   Users mentioned to be satisfied with the
    program’s correction proposals
   Users could not understand some of the diagnoses
    presented when correction proposal was not
    provided
    Discussion
   When should we start to adapt/redesign Granska
    from what we know from the users studies ?

   Which types of users should we focus on ?

   How should we improve methods for collecting
    and analyzing writer’s free text production?
     Information about the project


   www.nada.kth.se/theory/projects/xcheck/

   www.nada.kth.se/theory/projects/granska/demo.html

Welcome! to contact us :
 tessy@nada.kth.se

 knutsson@nada.kth.se

								
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