An Evaluation of Online and Automated English Writing Assistants: Collocations and Idioms Checkers

Grami Mohammad A Grami


In this paper, I attempt to investigate whether online writing checkers, including tools looking at grammar, punctuation, spelling and composition, do in fact help potential ESL writers, and if so, to which extent, in what areas, to what effect and at what cost. The small-scale study involves 23 university level ESL students who compose various texts as part of their training. Data was collected using pre and post writing samples, questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. The analysis used a descriptive statistical method, Likert-scale and correlations and qualitative analysis for the three methods respectively. The results are inconclusive as students reported different opinions. It was found however that students who are frequent users of features such as MS Word Thesaurus and Online Corpora are more likely to incorporate online writing checkers and therefore found them more helpful. It was also found that regardless of their effect, students always welcomed tools available that can provide feedback to their compositions. The writing software used, AccurIT, also showed improvements in students’ ability to write correct collocations.


ESL Writing, Technology in Education, Collocations, Idioms

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Copyright (c) 2020 Grami Mohammad A Grami

International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET) – eISSN: 1863-0383
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