Automated Writing Feedback for Chinese Learners of English with 'Marking Mate'

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


While there is considerable debate about how feedback should be given on second language learners' writing, one point that most researchers agree on is that feedback should be timely. Despite this, the reality of heavy marking loads often makes it difficult for teachers to provide feedback as quickly as would be desirable. In recent years, Automated Writing Evaluation (AWE) has emerged as one option to provide faster feedback on student writing, but there is a lack of freely available AWE software, and commercial options that are available are not tailored to the needs of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) learners in a Chinese context. In response to this situation, the presenters are currently developing a free web-based academic writing application called 'Marking Mate'. While it does not employ some of the more sophisticated techniques of commercial AWE software, it does allow users to input texts, such as essays or reports, and receive instant evaluative and formative feedback on many aspects of their writing. Marking Mate analyses statistical data from inputted texts, as well as searching for grammar problems and common stylistic issues for Chinese learners. This presentation will describe and demonstrate the application, summarize pilot feedback received from XJTLU teachers and students, discuss how the program could be integrated with a writing curriculum, and outline plans for further development.
Held atUniversity of Nottingham Ningbo China, China
Degree of RecognitionLocal


  • Education
  • Educational technology
  • Automated writing evaluation
  • English for Academic Purposes