How Can a Computer Make Your Life Easier?

How Can a Computer Make Your Life Easier?

Advances in software now allow students to receive feedback on micro-level aspects of their writing, which gives instructors more time to focus on higher-level writing skills. Taking advantage of this software can help students become better self-editors and can save instructors valuable time.

What a Computer Can Do
Software like ProofWriter, from ETS, gives students feedback on their writing. It can’t read in the same way that a person can, but it can analyze writing and compare it to huge databases of other writing. …

ProofWriter, for example, gives feedback on grammar, usage, and sentence mechanics. It does not correct student writing, but rather points out places that may need correction. This helps draw student attention to their own writing and helps them to turn in cleaner first drafts.

What Only a Human Can Do
Trained instructors are still the best sources of higher-level feedback. Only a human teacher can help students organize their ideas into paragraphs and their paragraphs into essays. Only a teacher can see the subtle improvements that occur in a students’ understanding of academic writing. Allowing software to point out grammatical mistakes gives instructors more time to focus on these areas of writing.

What the Linguists are Saying
There was plenty of talk about writing feedback at the American Association of Applied Linguists conference, and it supports the use of software for self-editing. Catherine van Beuningen, for example, reported on a study that found the best way to help students improve the accuracy of their writing was through indirect feedback. ProofWriter does exactly this, by pointing out places in a student’s writing that may need correction.

Get More Information
Your local Pearson ELL Specialist would love to share more information with you about ProofWriter. You can also watch a video about ProofWriter, or request a sample copy of From Reading to Writing, which includes access to ProofWriter in every book.



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