Developing an open writing aid for non-native speakers of English: an ontology-based approach

  • Hugo Sanjurjo Gonzalez (Speaker)
  • H. Alaiz-Moretón (Speaker)
  • N. Ramón (Speaker)
  • B. Labrador (Speaker)
  • I. García (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


In today’s globalized world where there is a growing need for international communication, non-native speakers (NNS) from a wide range of professional fields are increasingly called upon to write specialised texts in English. More often than not, however, the linguistic competence required to do so is well beyond that of the majority of NNS. While software applications can serve to assist NNS in their English writing tasks, most available applications are designed to serve users of English for general purposes as opposed to English for professional purposes. Therefore, these applications lack the specific vocabulary, style guidelines and common structures required in more specialised documents. Necessary modifications to meet the needs of English for professional purposes tend to be viewed as representing an overly complex and expensive task. To overcome these challenges, we present a software called O-WEAA (Ontology-Writing English Assistant Architecture) which makes use of an ontology that represents the knowledge which, according to our formalisation, is required to write most types of specialised professional documents in the English language. Our formalisation of the required knowledge is based on an exhaustive linguistic analysis of several written genres. The proposed architecture is composed of two parts: i) a web application named Acquisition Interface Module, that allows experts to populate the ontology with new data; ii) a user-friendly, general web interface named Writing Assistant Interface Module which guides the user throughout the writing process of the English document in the specific domain described in the ontology.
Period20 Jun 2019
Event titleIberian Conference on Information Systems and Technologies
Event typeConference
Conference number14th
LocationCoimbra, PortugalShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational