Freshmen students of the English teaching programme at Universidad Diego Portales used WriteBetter in their writing class

All English teachers know that developing writing skills is always a challenge. Lack of students’ motivation can also be a barrier when it comes to tackling writing in the English class. However, WriteBetter has been useful to motivate students and make them write confidently despite their English level. This is what we could see in the writing class of freshmen students at Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago of Chile. In this group of students, the level of English is very diverse, which goes from A1 to C2 according to the test they took at the beginning of the academic year. Nonetheless, this was not a limitation to use WriteBetter wisely.

These students have been reading and speaking about the topic “English as a lingua franca” in the other modules of their English course. That is why they were asked to write about that topic with WriteBetter in their writing class. Even though this was the first time they used the tool, they felt quite confident when using it in their writing task. As a matter of fact, one student told us: “it is great to have a writing assistant that gives you a hand with English because you also have to think about good ideas to write, and dealing with those two things at the same time is overwhelming for us as first-year students. So, you can better focus on the content, the ideas … WriteBetter helps you with the language issues”. This type of feedback lets us think that WriteBetter is here to stay!

WriteBetter at Arturo Prat University

On January 11, 2019, we presented WriteBetter to a group of English teachers and students at the conference “Teaching Languages in Multicultural Contexts”. This presentation took place in the main auditorium of Arturo Prat University, located in the city of Iquique, in the north of Chile. 

WriteBetter is in the air: 25 English teachers attended our workshop at San Sebastián University in Santiago of Chile

We had the pleasure of being invited and participating in the “Jornada de Actualización Pedagógica 2019” (Pedagogical Update Conference 2019) organised by San Sebastián University in Santiago of Chile. The activity of this conference consisted of academic analysis and reflection on topics relevant to the work of the Faculty, such as neurosciences, evaluation for learning, mediation of reading, play and physical activity, literature, English, and universal design of learning, among others. In addition, for one day, the teachers dedicated the day to learning about innovation with Information Technology (ICT) applied to education, developing a workshop on digital skills for teachers of the twenty-first century.

In this context, we had the opportunity to offer a 4-hour workshop for English teachers from schools and universities. The first part of the workshop consisted of a theoretical explanation of the linguistic foundations behind WriteBetter: specifically, Data-driven learning (DDL) and, broadly speaking, corpus linguistics. For most attendees, this was a new subject, so they showed a genuine interest in learning this new approach to teaching English. After that, Daniela explained the main features and functions of WriteBetter; then, she showed WriteBetter in action by using it as an English learner. After this, teachers had 1 hour to write a text with WriteBetter and see with their own eyes how it works and how effective it can be for their English lessons. Finally, we held focus group discussions with the teachers, who expressed their feelings and thoughts about WriteBetter. It was a great activity to close the workshop!

Other articles

We were invited to the English week at Universidad Mayor

As every year, the English teaching programme of Universidad Mayor held its English week at the end of October. We had the pleasure of presenting WriteBetter to a large audience of English professors and students. Many of the attendees showed interest in our incredible writing tool. For this reason, we were asked to do a workshop to use the software with a group of students in the writing class.

Students and teachers of a translation programme are interested in WriteBetter

UNIACC was the second university that contacted us to give a talk. This time the talk was given to the freshmen and one teacher of the Spanish-English Translation programme of that university. In spite of being first-year students, they showed great interest in knowing our tool and being able to use it in their translation tasks. Although WriteBetter is not focused on translation, it can be an interesting tool for translators, especially when they need to understand the use of words in different contexts.

WriteBetter’s first public talk: Andrés Bello University opened its doors to meet us

For the very first time, a Chilean university opened its doors to know everything about a new language learning approach: the Data-driven learning. This is the linguistic principle behind our amazing writing assistant WriteBetter. We were honoured to present our software to the authorities, teachers, students of the English teaching programme of this university, who showed interest in knowing more about this tool and were eager to try it at home!