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27 Apr 2007 - A comparison of human and computer grammar correction for French as a Second Language

Venue: Room A106, Newman Building

Time: 10.00am

This presentation will discuss results from a preliminary study which aimed to answer the question “are humans better than computers at correcting texts written by second language learners?” In order to answer this question, Prof Terry Nadasdi, University of Alberta will present a comparison of how humans and machines correct 30 texts rife with L2 errors from French as a second language, and discuss methodological questions that must be addressed before arriving at an acceptable answer to the question. In order to evaluate human correction, the texts were marked by two University professors with more than twenty years experience teaching French as a second language. The machine correction results were arrived at by submitting the same texts to, a pedagogical online grammar checker for French. Quantitative results suggest that both kinds of correction present advantages and disadvantages, but that in many ways machine correction is actually preferable.

Terry Nadasdi is a Full Professor in Linguistics at the University of Alberta, Canada. He is the author of more than forty articles and two books on language variation and bilingualism and is co-creator of, an online grammar checker for French.

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