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Coursebook texts as a helping hand for classifying linguistic complexity in language learners' writings

Conference paper
Authors Ildikó Pilán
David Alfter
Elena Volodina
Published in Proceedings of the workshop on Computational Linguistics for Linguistic Complexity
ISBN 978-4-87974-709-9
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Swedish
Language en
Links www.aclweb.org/anthology/W/W16/W16-...
Keywords automatic essay classification, CEFR, online classification tool
Subject categories Computational linguistics, Swedish language

Abstract

We bring together knowledge from two different types of language learning data, texts learners read and texts they write, to improve linguistic complexity classification in the latter. Linguistic complexity in the foreign and second language learning context can be expressed in terms of proficiency levels. We show that incorporating features capturing lexical complexity information from reading passages can boost significantly the machine learning based classification of learner-written texts into proficiency levels. With an F1 score of .8 our system rivals state-of-the-art results reported for other languages for this task. Finally, we present a freely available web-based tool for proficiency level classification and lexical complexity visualization for both learner writings and reading texts.

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