Using an Ontology-based Approach to Build Open Assisting Tools in Foreign Language Writing

Hugo Sanjurjo-González, Héctor Alaiz-Moretón, Noelia Ramón, Belén Labrador, Isaías García

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In today’s globalised 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 of the applications available are designed for 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 software is composed of two parts: i) a web application named Acquisition Interface Module, which allows experts to populate the ontology with new data and 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.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberem0099
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Information Systems Engineering & Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2019


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