Microsoft Research has created an online “ESL Assistant” that is specifically designed to help English Language Learners find and correct errors in their writing.

After you copy and paste the text into the “box” and click “check,” the application identifies potential errors and provides options to correct them. It shows a pie chart highlighting what percentage each option is used on the Internet to help the writer choose, along with multiple examples of how it is used.

It’s designed to identify and correct common ELL errors that would not necessarily be identified by the correction features in Word.

It’s in an experimental period, so it’s not perfect, but it’s definitely worth a try. I’ll see how our Intermediate English class students like it when we come back from Spring Break.