Developing a corpus-based online grammar tutorial prototype

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Masumi Narita, Tokyo International University


Second language (L2) learners are likely to produce the same kinds of grammatical errors over and over again in their L2 written products despite explicit feedback and review in the classroom by their writing teachers. In an attempt to address this persistent problem, the present study collected and analyzed 61 learner essays to develop a prototype of a corpus-based online grammar tutorial for use outside the classroom. Quantitative analyses of the learner data revealed problematic features common to the learners: the most frequent grammatical errors and poor management of topical progression. These especially prevalent problems with L2 grammatical knowledge were incorporated into the prototype system for special treatment. The usability of the prototype was then evaluated by 26 undergraduate university students. Their evaluation ratings were overall positive. Constructive feedback obtained from the students suggests that this corpus-based online grammar tutorial can be a vital asset for improving the L2 grammatical knowledge of learners.