Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Grammar Checker that Talks to You

An ESL Grammar Checker

You may already know that the website provides corrective feedback on common English Second Language errors for free. What you probably don't know yet is that the VWT can speak.

By using text-to-speech, the VWT can explain and suggest corrections orally. The exciting part is that there is evidence that hearing corrective feedback may be more effective than reading it. 

For example, Sobhani and Tayebipour (2015) found that unfocused oral feedback on students' writing errors was superior to unfocused written feedback. Since the does not restrict feedback to specific target structures, the feedback it gives is by definition unfocused.

In an earlier study, Jordan (2004) found that the combination of oral feedback with written comments on students' exams was more comprehensible and encouraging than written feedback alone on written exams. While it is doubtful that learners will find it more encouraging to listen to corrective feedback generated by a voice synthesizer on the Virtual Writing Tutor, listening to feedback might indeed make it more comprehensible.

To explore this exciting possibility in computer-assisted ESL pedagogy, we added a text-to-speech button next to each corrective feedback message. The steps you need to follow to try it for yourself are below.


You will need to create an account on the It is 100% free to create an account and membership entails no obligation.

 Enter some text and click "Check Grammar."

Finally, click on "Text-to-Speech" to hear it read to you.

Please share and like the on your favorite social media sites if you like this new feature.


Jordan, J. (2004). The use of orally recorded exam feedback as a supplement to
            written comments. Journal of Statistics Education, 12(1), 20-27.

Sobhani M. and Tayebipour F. (2015).The Effects of Oral vs. Written Corrective
          Feedback on EFL Learners’ Essay Writing, Theory and Practice in
          Language Studies, 5, (8).

Grammar Checker Forum

Grammar Checker Forum The Virtual Writing Tutor has added a community forum to its free grammar checker . Post your text, tell the community...