HOO-2012 Shared Task Call for Registration: ESL Preposition and Determiner Error Correction

HOO-2012 Shared Task Call for Registration: ESL Preposition and Determiner Error Correction

Call for Registration


The HOO (Helping Our Own) Exercise is concerned with correcting textual errors. HOO 2012, which will be hosted by the Building Educational Applications Workshop at NAACL 2012, focusses on the correction of preposition and determiner errors in a large collection of non-native speaker texts. These are widely recognized to be amongst the most challenging aspects of English lexico-syntax for non-native speakers to deal with: see [Leacock et al. 2010] for a review.

The Task

The goal of this task is to provide a forum for the comparative evaluation of approaches to the correction of errors in the use of prepositions and determiners by non-native speakers of English. Although these have already been the focus of a considerable body of research in natural language processing, so far it has been hard to compare the results delivered by different teams as a consequence of different data sets and slightly different task descriptions. This shared task provides a common dataset and a shared evaluation framework as a means of overcoming these problems.

The HOO-2012 Preps and Dets Shared Task follows on from the HOO-2011 Shared Task Pilot Round held in 2011 as part of the 2011 European Natural Language Generation Workshop. That task had a much broader focus on all kinds of errors in non-native speaker writing, and use a much smaller dataset. The evaluation framework for HOO-2012 is an enhancement of the scheme developed for HOO-2011, taking advantage of what was learned in that exercise.

The Data

The data to be used for the task is drawn from the Cambridge Learner Corpus (CLC) described in [Yannakoudakis et al 2011]. The data, which contains exam scripts written by students undertaking the First Certificate in English (FCE) exams, is jointly provided by Cambridge ESOL and Cambridge University Press.

The data we are using has been converted from the mark-up provided in the released version of the CLC FCE data to use the HOO annotation scheme.

What You Should Do Now

If you would like to participate in HOO 2012, you need to formally register in order to obtain the data and evaluation tools. To formally register, send the following information to info@correcttext.org:

  • Name of institution or other label appropriate for your team
  • Name of contact person for your team
  • Email address of contact person for your team

The HOO Google Group will be used for discussions in regard to the data and the task more generally. If you are not already a member of the HOO Google Groups list, please also indicate the email addresses you would like added to this list (the contact email address will not explicitly added unless requested).


The current schedule for HOO-2012 is as follows.

  • Friday 27th January: Registration for participation in HOO 2012 opens; development data for the Shared Task released.
  • Friday 6th April: Test data for evaluation released.
  • Friday 13th April: Deadline for submissions from teams for evaluation.
  • Monday 23rd April: Results of evaluation released.
  • Tuesday May 1st: Final versions of team reports for proceedings due (note that this is a revised date; previously the deadline was Friday May 4th).
  • Thursday June 7th: Poster presentations at the BEA Workshop at NAACL 2012.


Robert Dale and Ilya Anisimoff, Macquarie University


R. Dale and A. Kilgarriff [2010] Helping Our Own: Text massaging for computational linguistics as a new shared task. In Proceedings of the 6th International Natural Language Generation Conference, pages 261–265, Dublin, Ireland, 7th–9th July 2010.

R. Dale and A. Kilgarriff [2011] Helping Our Own: The HOO 2011 Pilot Shared Task. In Proceedings of the 13th European Workshop on Natural Language Generation, Nancy, France, 28th–30th September 2011.

C. Leacock, M. Chodorow, M. Gamon, and J. Tetreault [2010] Automated Grammatical Error Detection for Language Learners. Synthesis Lectures on Human Language Technologies. Morgan and Claypool.

H. Yannakoudakis, T. Briscoe and B. Medlock [2011] A New Dataset and Method for Automatically Grading ESOL Texts. In Proceedings of the 49th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Portland, Oregon, USA, 19th–24th June 2011. .

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