Seminar für Sprachwissenschaft


SFB 833 - Projekt A4 "Bedeutungsvergleich im Kontext"

Projektleiter(in): Detmar Meurers
Mitarbeiter: Kordula De Kuthy, Researcher
Björn Rudzewitz, Researcher
Absicht :  
Motiviert durch die generelle Frage, wie Bedeutungsvergleiche auch in realistischen Situationen erfolgen können, in denen nicht wohlgeformte Sprache oder Unterschiede im situativen Wissen oder Weltwissen eine vollständige Analyse erschweren oder unmöglich machen, untersucht das Projekt, welche linguistischen Repräsentationen für einen computerlinguistischen Vergleich der Bedeutung von Sätzen und Textfragmenten effektiv und robust zu verwenden sind und für welche Aufgaben und Kontexte sich solche Vergleiche mit einer flachen semantischen Analyse berechnen lassen.



Schröter, Hannes, PD Dr.,  Projektkoordination, wiss. Leitung

Beteiligte Personen:

Becker-Mrotzek, Michael, Prof. Dr. (wiss. Leitung)

Galasso, Sabrina (Wissenschaftliche Bearbeitung)

Geppert, Theresa (Wissenschaftliche Bearbeitung)

Jambor-Fahlen, Simone , Dr. (Wissenschaftliche Bearbeitung)

Meurers, Detmar, Prof. Dr. (wiss. Leitung)

Schrader, Josef, Prof. Dr. (wiss. Leitung)

Schröter, Hannes, PD Dr. (Projektkoordination, wiss. Leitung)

Steinborn, Waltraud (Mitarbeit)

Triulzi, Marco (Mitarbeit)

Weiß, Zarah Leonie (Wissenschaftliche Bearbeitung)



KANSAS is an interdisciplinary project that will be conducted within the fields of adult education, computational linguistics, didactics and cognitive psychology. The project aims at developing, testing and evaluating a competence-adaptive, user-oriented search engine for authentic language learning texts.

KANSAS primarily intends to support teachers in adult literacy and basic education in searching language learning material on the internet and in electronic text corpora that meet the interests as well as the specific learning needs of their course participants. Another target group are teachers of German as a second language working in integration courses.

In addition, a simplified version of KANSAS will be developed in order to enable advanced learners to search for texts with an appropriate linguistically complexity on their own. Thus, this version of KANSAS allows easy access to digital information resources and supports learners in enhancing their language competencies.


Projektleiter(in): Detmar Meurers

Absicht :  

Research in Intelligent Computer-Assisted Language Learning (ICALL) integrates Natural Language Processing into Computer-Assisted Language Learning. For such research to be innovative and sustainable, we believe that it needs to combine Second Language Acquisition (SLA) research, precise linguistic modeling, and sound computational linguistic methods (Meurers 2012Meurers & Dickinson 2017). On this foundational research, we ground the development of digital tools addressing real-life education needs, in school and lifelong learning.


Projektleiter(in): Detmar Meurers

Dr. Kordula De Kuthy, Researcher
Björn Rudzewitz, Researcher

Ramon Ziai, Researcher



The FeedBook is an intelligent electronic workbook is designed to accompany the English teaching at the German Gymnasium. It is developed by computational linguists at the University of Tübingen in collaboration with the publisher Diesterweg on the basis of a current workbook for 7th grade English classes, Camden Town.

The main goal of the FeedBook is to develop a system that provides immediate, individualized feedback to English language learners working on a range of tasks. To provide this kind of scaffolding feedback, state-of-the-art compuational analyses of meaning and form are implemented and further developed.

A first version of the FeedBook is already used and tested at 4 German schools, containing 55 exercises. These include fill-in-the-blank and reading comprehension exercises that cover the entire English curriculum for the 7th grade at the Gymnasium.


Projektleiter(in): Detmar Meurers


Teaching Aid for Grammatical Awareness, Recognition and Enhancement of Linguistic Abilities

TAGARELA is an intelligent computer-assisted language learning (ICALL) system designed to be fully integrated into the Portuguese Individualized Instruction Program at The Ohio State University. Originally created at OSU, it is now further developed at Tübingen University and employed in Portuguese courses at UMASS Amherst. TAGARELA can be viewed as an intelligent automatic workbook that provides students with opportunities to practice their reading, listening, and writing skills. Because it is a web-based system, it can be used anywhere there is a computer with internet access.

TAGARELA uses state-of-the-art Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology to analyze students' input, and detect spelling, morphological, syntactic and semantic errors. Its NLP components allow the system to handle activities that go beyond the usual multiple choice or fill-in-the-blanks used by regular CALL systems. Its exercise types are similar to the ones typically found in current workbooks, such as:

  • listening and reading comprehension
  • picture description
  • vocabulary practice
  • phrasing and re-writing


TAGARELA has a student model that keeps track of each student's individual performance, and an instructor model that carries information about activity and error types. Together the student and instructor models allow the system to choose the best feedback strategy to use with each individual learner based on the level of the activity, type of task, characteristics of error, and learner profile.

At Tübingen University, TAGARELA was subsequently re-implemented in the UIMA framework. The new version retains the full functionality of the first TAGARELA and offers the following new capabilities:


  • True extensible annotation-based processing
  • Adaptation to activities based on information from the activity model
  • Adaptation of feedback for individual students based on basic student modeling

The Ohio State University has the longest running individualized language programs in the country. With TAGARELA, OSU is the first university to have an ICALL system with NLP technology specifically designed to fulfill the needs of students in such language programs. The system was successfully used by the students in individualized instruction and regular Portuguese courses at OSU in Spring 2007. 

This project was funded 2005-2007 by an Arts and Humanities Grant for Innovation under the project title "Bridging the Gap between Research in Natural Language Processing and Individualized Language Instruction."


Projektleiter(in): Detmar Meurers

Maria Chinkina,

Madeeswaran Kannan


Absicht :  

FLAIR is an online tool for language teachers and learners that: 

  • ● searches the web for a topic of interest 
  • ● analyzes the results for grammatical constructions and readability levels 
  • ● re-ranks the results according to your (pedagogical or learning) needs specified in the settings


Projektleiter(in): Detmar Meurers


WERTi is an intelligent computer-assisted language learning (ICALL) system designed to provide supplementary language learning activity resources to ESL students. It can be viewed as an intelligent automatic workbook, providing an unlimited number of activities designed to foster awareness of English grammatical forms and functions. Because it is a web-based system, it can be used anywhere there is a computer with internet access.


The WERTi activities are automatically derived from authentic English texts, obtained from any web page of interest. The task of retrieving texts appropriate for learners is handled by a separate Information Retrieval for Language Learning (IR4LL) project.

WERTi uses state-of-the-art Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology to generate exercises, identifying targeted lexical and phrasal material through a combination of tokenization, lemmatization, morphological analysis, part-of-speech tagging, and shallow parsing. For the types of activities currently being implemented, the focus in WERTi is on creative and efficient use of existing freely available NLP technology.

The activity types WERTi provides follow a pedagogically motivated progression from receptive presentation, to productive presentation, to controlled practice. Specifically, activities include the coloring of targeted forms, having the learner find and click on targeted forms, and finally, controlled practice activities such as fill-in-the-blank or editing tasks. WERTi provides these activity progressions for a variety of grammar topics.

The Education First-Cambridge Learner Corpus: a data-driven approach to second language learning

Mitarbeiter: Detmar Meurers 
Absicht :
Prof. Meurers collaborates with the Research Center for English and Applied Linguistics on the "Education First-Cambridge Learner Corpus: a data-driven approach to second language learning". 


Projektleiter(in): Detmar Meurers 
Mitarbeiter: Adriane Boyd, Researcher 

Absicht :  
Multilingual Platform for the European Reference Levels: Interlanguage Exploration in Context EU Lifelong Learning project 518989-LLP-1-2011-1-DE-KA2-KA2MP