Data-Driven Learning and Awareness-Raising: An Effective Tandem to Improve Grammar in Written Composition?

María Luisa Pérez Cañado, María Belén Díez Bedmar

Abstract


The present paper, framed within the ECTS scheme currently being piloted at the University of Jaén, reports on a study carried out in the second semester of the academic year 2004-5 with English Philology freshmen at this University. One of its aims, described in an initial section of the paper, was to determine whether the use of Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL), and Data-Driven Learning (DDL), could help raise awareness of and thus remediate the grammar weaknesses of such pupils under four categories (articles, verb tenses, verbal complementation, and prepositions). The procedure, outlined subsequently, involved using DDL to raise awareness of the main grammar mistakes in these headings, which had been previously identified in first year students? production through the use of an UCLEE-error-tagged written learner corpus. Two one-hour seminars were employed weekly, each one with a group of 40 students, to raise awareness of these mistakes with the help of web-based resources. Four were the steps undertaken: initial attempts on the part of the students to identify the mistakes in the seven headings; a session provided by the authors on CALL as a means to raise awareness of, identify, and solve written mistakes; use of these electronic resources to contrast their initial error identification; and explicit correction of the mistakes in each category. The results and implications, discussed in a final section, highlight that DDL and awareness-raising ? albeit in some categories more than in others ? indeed constitute an effective tandem when it comes to improving grammatical aspects in written composition at University level.

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Copyright (c) 2017 María Luisa Pérez Cañado, María Belén Díez Bedmar


International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning. ISSN: 1863-0383
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