Developing a writing assistant to help EAP writers with collocations in real time

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  • Ana Frankenberg-Garcia
    University of Surrey
  • Robert Lew
    Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan
  • Jonathan C. Roberts
  • Geraint Rees
    University of Surrey
  • Nirwan Sharma
Corpora have given rise to a wide range of lexicographic resources aimed at helping novice users of academic English with their writing. This includes academic vocabulary lists, a variety of textbooks, and even a bespoke academic English dictionary. However, writers may not be familiar with these resources or may not be sufficiently aware of the lexical shortcomings of their emerging texts to trigger the need to use such help in the first place. Moreover, writers who have to stop writing to look up a word can be distracted from getting their ideas down on paper. The ColloCaid project aims to address this problem by integrating information on collocation with text editors. In this paper, we share the research underpinning the initial development of ColloCaid by detailing the rationale of (1) the lexicographic database we are compiling to support novice EAP users’ collocation needs and (2) the preliminary visualisation decisions taken to present information on collocation to EAP users without disrupting their writing. We conclude the paper by outlining the next steps in the research.


  • academic writing, visualisation, automatic feedback, collocation, corpora, Lexicographic information
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalReCALL: Journal of the European Association for Computer Assisted Language Learning
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2018

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