THE DESIGN OF TESTS WITH MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED FROM ESSAYS IN A LEARNER CORPUS
The paper describes the learner corpus composed of English essays written by native Russian speakers. REALEC (Russian Error-Annotated Learner English Corpus) is an error-annotated, available online corpus, now containing more than 200 thousand word tokens in almost 800 essays. It is one of the first Russian ESL corpora, dynamically developing and striving to improve both in size and in features offered to users. We describe our perspective on the corpus, data sources and tools used in compiling it. Elaborate self-made classification of learners’ errors types is thoroughly described. The paper also presents a pilot experiment on creating test sets for particular learners’ problems using corpus data.
This textbook is intended to be used by students of departments of physics and mathemathics. Its aim is to form language skills that are required for professional communication. The textbook can be useful for anyone who is interested in learning English for specific purposes.
This article presents an approach to the automatic generation of open cloze exercises based on arbitrary English text. The exercise format is similar to the open cloze test used in Cambridge English certificate exams (FCE, CAE, CPE). The presented method also makes it possible to adjust the difficulty of the resulting exercises to better suit specific proficiency levels. Three experiments were conducted to evaluate the usefulness of the machine-generated exercises, compare them with authentic Cambridge English tests and study the difficulty-setting capabilities. The experiments showed that the generation method used was quite effective. With some customization, the method can be applied to generating similar exercises for other languages.
Language exercises are widely used in teaching foreign languages; yet, manually creating exercises is labor-intensive and time-consuming. This paper describes a method for automatically generating EFL wordbank cloze exercises. These are generated from arbitrary passages in English, which is an important advantage in terms of learner motivation; indeed, the content of the exercises can be tailored to learners’ interests. Another feature of the method is exercise difficulty adjustment. Unlike other systems, our algorithm does not rely on many external linguistic resources and can be thus more easily adapted to other languages. Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the proposed method. The experiments showed that our algorithm performs significantly better than the ‘naïve’ random-sample baseline and that its precision of making gaps is 97%.
The purpose of the paper is to give an overview of the Internet resources, tools and technologies that can be used in different types of elearning of the English language.The paper also highlights the problems that are likely to occur when employing the technologies: low level of information culture, technological hurdles, psychological readiness, motivation. The conducted research shows the growing interest to using ICT and increasing satisfaction from the learning process based on the Internet resources among students.
The workshop series on NLP for Computer-Assisted Language Learning (NLP4CALL) is a meeting place for researchers working on the integration of Natural Language Processing and Speech technologies in CALL systems and exploring the theoretical and methodological issues arising in this connection. The papers in the proceedings volume from the third NLP4CALL workshop cover three main topic areas: resources for development of ICALL applications (e.g., learner corpora and coursebook corpora), tools and algorithms for the analysis of learner language (e.g., focusing on collocations, reading tasks, cloze items, pronunciation, spelling, level classification of learner production), and the generation of learning materials (e.g., exercise generators).
Various issues relating to the questions of learner corpus researches and their use in teaching are presented. These include the issue of a norm in corpora whether the norm should necessarily be native and what problems a native norm may present. Learners who behave differently from native speakers do not necessarily use language incorrectly as an alternative to a unique, native norm, a range of norms are available Some of these norms may be problematic if they are not selected carefully (depending on the learner corpus, the purpose of the comparison, etc.) and handled cautiously. Different choices of norms may produce different results and thus lead to different conclusions with respect to learners’ usages. Pedagogical implications of such choices are to be examined, with particular emphasis on whether all differences between the learner corpus and the reference corpus should be targeted for teaching intervention. Problems in evaluating agreement in approaches to annotation practices are considered as well.
The paper examines construction blending as an important cause of errors in written students’ texts. The study is conducted within the framework of Construction Grammar [Fillmore and Kay 1992; Goldberg 1995, 2006] and grammar of errors [Vyrenkova et al. 2014]. It is based on the data of the Corpus of Russian Student Texts supplied with metatextual, morphological and error annotation.
The paper is focused on the study of reaction of italian literature critics on the publication of the Boris Pasternak's novel "Doctor Jivago". The analysys of the book ""Doctor Jivago", Pasternak, 1958, Italy" (published in Russian language in "Reka vremen", 2012, in Moscow) is given. The papers of italian writers, critics and historians of literature, who reacted immediately upon the publication of the novel (A. Moravia, I. Calvino, F.Fortini, C. Cassola, C. Salinari ecc.) are studied and analised.
The Incongruity Theory of Humor in its different forms states that the cause of laughter is the perception of something that violates our mental patterns and expectations. It seems particularly true of comic absurdity which is based on a deadpan violation of established norms of logic and convention. The current paper explores linguistic mechanisms that underlie the comic effects in the works of Mikhail Zoshchenko, one of the great satirists of Soviet Russia. Zoshchenko is well-known for his simplified writing style which imitates the language and mentality of “the simple people” while at the same time mocking the nascent Soviet officialdom and its demands for the popular accessibility of art. The paper considers Zoshchenko’s narrative through the prism of conventional implicatures (Grice 1961, Karttunen and Peters 1979, Horn 2004, Potts 2005, 2007), or meanings that are not directly stated in the utterances, but implied by the speaker; e.g. Even John solved the problem implies that it was it was not expected of John to solve it. In successful communication, implicit meanings form the shared background of conversational partners; violation of these shared norms may be used to create comical effect. One of the most conventionalized societal norms and one Zoshchenko most frequently violates is the value of human life and, hence, solemn attitude to death. The narrator in Zoshchenko’s stories repeatedly implies otherwise, thus creating a comical portrait of the mentality of Homo Soveticus. Consider a quote from “The story about a greedy dairy woman”: “So, her husband died. At first she probably took it lightly. - A-a, she thought – no big deal… But then she realized – yes, this is a big deal!... Eligible bachelors are not running around in bunches. And then, of course, she started grieving” (shift in emphasis; the cause for grief is not the husband’s death but its inconvenience for the surviving wife). The story “A restless old man” (about an old man who lives in a communal flat and falls into lethargic stupor taken by his family and neighbors for death and then after waking up really dies) is based on violating the same conventional implicature. Throughout the story the narrator implicitly creates the image of death as an inconvenient occurrence and of a deceased person as an unwanted piece of waste. The harshly comic effect is achieved by implicatures about the shallow emotional impact of death (“And then of course there is aggravation: because the room is small and here is a superfluous element”, “If my husband, this surviving idiot, ordered the hearse right away, then the wait for it would have only been three days”; “The summoned doctor reassured everybody that now the old man is bona fide dead”); by violation of semantic compatibility rules whereby the seemingly dead old man is alternately referred to as an animate being (“The dead man is lying and demanding the last tribute to be paid to him”, “The babysitter is afraid to be in the room where a dead person is living”) or inanimate object (“There is so little space that there is even nowhere to pile up the old man”; “I am going to pile him up in the hall, let him wait for the hearse there”).
In the article the patterns of the realization of emotional utterances in dialogic and monologic speech are described. The author pays special attention to the characteristic features of the speech of a speaker feeling psychic tension and to the compositional-pragmatic peculiarities of dialogic and monologic text.