The TREACLE project

Project Goals and Methodology

The goal of the project is to better understand what students of English are struggling with at each point of their development in proficiency, and thus what resources teachers of English can provide to those students at each point of development.

The central resource for our study are two corpora of Learner English:

  • The WriCLE corpus, which is a collection of 750 essays by Spanish university students learning English within an English degree, and
  • the UPV Learner Corpus, a collection of texts by university learners of English within English for Specific Purpose classes.

We use these corpora to explore two aspects of learner English:

  1. What students are doing wrong at each proficiency level: we do this by manually marking up all errors in their writings, and then relating types of recurring errors to their level of proficiency (using UAM CorpusTool, annotation software).
  2. What students are attempting at each proficiency level: because some students may make few errors because they stick with what they know, we also measure what grammatical structures learners are using at each proficiency level.

It is only by measuring both what students attempt and what they get wrong that we can clearly study the learning process.

for a more detailed description of our approach, click on the Publications item in the menu.