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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Software Details

Title: Microsoft Research ESL Assistant Prototype
Submitter: Chris Brockett
Description: Subscribers with interests in computer-assisted learning and TEFL/TESL
might like to know that the Natural Language Processing Group at Microsoft
Research has just launched a prototype web-based writing assistance service
for people who have learned English as a second or foreign language. The
MSR ESL Assistant uses statistical models to suggest corrections for a set
of common learner error patterns that are not currently supported by the
proofing tools in Microsoft Office products, and tries to help users judge
whether the proposed modifications really are better by displaying actual
writing examples returned by a web search.

The MSR ESL Assistant service can be accessed at
http://www.eslassistant.com. No registration is required.

Further information about the project can be found on the team website at
http://research.microsoft.com/Projects/msreslassistant and project updates
will posted periodically on the team blog at

Although the service is still at the prototype stage, we hope that both
learners of English and TEFL/TESL professionals will experiment with it and
will perhaps even find it useful in its present form. We look forward to
feedback, and are especially interested in hearing from teachers who find
ways to incorporate this service into their instruction.
Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics
Writing Systems

LL Issue: 19.2206
Date Posted: 10-Jul-2008

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