Detecting breakdowns in local coherence in the writing of Chinese English learners

Wang, Y., Harrington, M. and White, P. (2012) Detecting breakdowns in local coherence in the writing of Chinese English learners. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 28 4: 396-410. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2729.2011.00475.x


Author Wang, Y.
Harrington, M.
White, P.
Title Detecting breakdowns in local coherence in the writing of Chinese English learners
Journal name Journal of Computer Assisted Learning   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0266-4909
1365-2729
Publication date 2012-08
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2729.2011.00475.x
Volume 28
Issue 4
Start page 396
End page 410
Total pages 15
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
This paper introduces CTutor, an automated writing evaluation (AWE) tool for detecting breakdowns in local coherence and reports on a study that applies it to the writing of Chinese L2 English learners. The program is based on Centering theory (CT), a theory of local coherence and salience. The principles of CT are first introduced and then the design and function of CTutor are described. The effectiveness and reliability of the program was evaluated in a study that compared performance by CTutor and two human raters on the analysis of local incoherence and provision of revision on learner essays. Intermediate Chinese English as a foreign language learners (n=52) were divided into two groups: one receiving CTutor feedback and the other receiving feedback from human raters. Learners in both groups completed three essays; each of which involved the submission of a first draft, revision with feedback on local coherence quality and re-submission. Our results from the comparison between CTutor and human experts showed that this software tool is able to detect local coherence breakdowns with moderate accuracy (F 1-measure is around 0.4). There was also little difference between participants' responses to CTutor feedback and human feedback in terms of revision behaviour, with both feedback modes resulting in similar revision pattern. Potential use of the program in instructional settings is discussed
Keyword Automated error detection
Centering theory
Chinese EFL writing
Local coherence
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Languages and Cultures Publications
 
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