James Heath, UNSWIL
Automated Writing Evaluation Software: Language learners' interpretation of automated feedback

Automated Writing Evaluation (AWE) software provides feedback on students’ written drafts in terms of the lexical, morphological and syntactic features, as well as (generally more limited) advice on the textual organisation and development of ideas. For English language learners, AWE promises immediate and comprehensive feedback on the mechanics of writing, perhaps as a step before submitting to a teacher for feedback on more substantive content or structural issues. However, there are many limitations to the software from both a technological and pedagogical perspective. The aim of this session is to explore some of these issues and discuss whether AWE could benefit language learners now or in the future. It will also report on results of a case study undertaken in 2016 with five advanced academic English students, focusing on their interpretation of feedback from MY Access! AWE software.

James Heath is an English language teacher and researcher who currently teachers at UNSW Institute of Languages. He was a runner up in the English Australia Action Research in ELICOS award in 2015 with his paper exploring the use of e-portfolios to enhance academic writing skills. James shares lesson plans and teaching ideas at his website