LINGUIST List 19.2206

Thu Jul 10 2008

Software: Microsoft Research ESL Assistant Prototype

Editor for this issue: Hannah Morales <>

        1.    Chris Brockett, Microsoft Research ESL Assistant Prototype

Message 1: Microsoft Research ESL Assistant Prototype
Date: 10-Jul-2008
From: Chris Brockett <>
Subject: Microsoft Research ESL Assistant Prototype
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Subscribers with interests in computer-assisted learning and TEFL/TESLmight like to know that the Natural Language Processing Group at MicrosoftResearch has just launched a prototype web-based writing assistance servicefor people who have learned English as a second or foreign language. TheMSR ESL Assistant uses statistical models to suggest corrections for a setof common learner error patterns that are not currently supported by theproofing tools in Microsoft Office products, and tries to help users judgewhether the proposed modifications really are better by displaying actualwriting examples returned by a web search.

The MSR ESL Assistant service can be accessed at No registration is required.

Further information about the project can be found on the team website at and project updateswill posted periodically on the team blog at

Although the service is still at the prototype stage, we hope that bothlearners of English and TEFL/TESL professionals will experiment with it andwill perhaps even find it useful in its present form. We look forward tofeedback, and are especially interested in hearing from teachers who findways to incorporate this service into their instruction.

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics                             Morphology                             Writing Systems