ERIC Number: EJ694873
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jul
Reference Count: 15
Can Parsers Be a Legitimate Pedagogical Tool?
Computer Assisted Language Learning, v17 n3-4 p267-288 Jul 2004
Parsers are rarely used in language instruction as a primary tool towards a pedagogical end. Visual Interactive Syntax Learning (=VISL) is a programme which is basically a parser put to pedagogical use. It can analyse sentences in 13 different languages, the most advanced programmes being English and Portuguese. The pedagogical purpose is to teach English (Portuguese, etc.) syntax to university students at an advanced level. The programme allows the students to build sophisticated tree diagrams of English sentences with provisions for both functions (e.g. subjects, objects, etc.) and forms (simple or complex, incl. subclauses). The language study programmes at the University of Southern Denmark aim to give the students a sound grounding in metalinguistic knowledge for which they need to acquire the terms and concepts of the field. Sentence analysis is at the heart of this endeavour. VISL was initiated as an attempt to facilitate the learning process. The present study was conducted as an experiment in order to investigate the effectiveness of VISL and student attitude towards it. The results showed that VISL was indeed effective, but so was a more traditional approach. The great advantage lay in the improved acceptance of the subject matter by the students. Pedagogically the advantage of integrating the VISL program was obvious. It also yielded some interesting results in that it turned out that one group of students benefited more than another group of students.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Syntax, Student Attitudes, Linguistics, English Instruction, Sentences, English (Second Language)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Denmark