Yesterday, Google unveiled Google Scribe. It sort of tries to get in “your head” and offers suggestions of what it thinks you want to write next based on what you are writing now.

I’m trying to figure out if it could be a helpful tool, or one that’s not very useful, for English Language Learners.

I think the grammar and spell check on Word and other word processing programs is a huge help — but only after ELL’s have first tried writing a draft longhand. If they don’t do that, I think they can get too focused on writing correctly.

I’m thinking something like Google Scribe could potentially be useful in building vocabulary, and expanding familiarity with grammatical concepts. But I’m concerned that the final product might not really be a true creation of the learner. And that they could really used it as a big-time crutch that they would not really be able to apply to situations where Google Scribe wasn’t available. What would their writing be, as opposed to Google Scribe’s creation?

So I’m leaning towards the negative side.

What do you think?