Time: 2pm-3pm, Friday, Oct 22, 2010 Place: Room 4102, CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Ave (34str&35str). Speaker: Joel Tetreault (ETS) Title: THE INS AND OUTS OF ESL PREPOSITION ERROR DETECTION Abstract: The long-term goal of our work is to develop a system which detects errors in grammar and usage so that appropriate feedback can be given to non-native English writers, a large and growing segment of the world's population. Estimates are that in China alone as many as 300 million people are currently studying English as a second language (ESL). In particular, usage errors involving prepositions are among the most common types seen in the writing of non-native English speakers. For example, Izumi et al., (2003) reported error rates for English prepositions that were as high as 10% in a Japanese learner corpus. Since prepositions are such a nettlesome problem for ESL writers, developing an NLP application that can reliably detect these types of errors will provide an invaluable learning resource to ESL students. To address this problem, we describe a system which detects preposition errors with a precision of 84% in TOEFL essays. In this talk, I will discuss the system as well as issues in developing and evaluating NLP grammatical error detection applications. This is joint work with Martin Chodorow at CUNY. Speaker Bio: Joel Tetreault is a Research Scientist specializing in Computational Linguistics in the Research & Development Division at Educational Testing Service in Princeton, NJ. His research focus is Natural Language Processing with specific interests in anaphora, dialogue and discourse processing, machine learning, and applying these techniques to the analysis of English language learning and automated essay scoring. Currently he is working on automated methods for detecting grammatical errors by non-native speakers, plagiarism detection, and content scoring methods. Previously, he was a postdoctoral research scientist at the University of Pittsburgh's Learning Research and Development Center (2004-2007). There he worked on developing spoken dialogue tutoring systems. Tetreault received his B.A. in Computer Science from Harvard University (1998) and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Rochester (2004).