VietTESOL International Convention, VietTESOL International Convention 2018

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Tense Identifier: Automatic Identification and Explanation of Time and Tense
John Blake

Building: A11
Room: Room 202
Date: 2018-10-13 09:00 AM – 09:30 AM
Last modified: 2018-09-15


Learners of English need to know the form, function, meaning and appropriacy of the choices of tense and aspect. Unlike many tonal languages, the relationship between time and the English tense system is particularly complex. Internet searches reveal how particular tenses are formed and used. Examples can also be found. What is lacking, however, is a website that students and teachers can access to identify the tense of a sentence submitted by the user.

The Tense Identifier is designed to fill that niche by harnessing natural language processing to automatically identify tense. This free online tool can name the tense used in any simple sentence. The first finite verb group is identified, the tense name and its common features are automatically displayed.

This tool can help both learners and teachers of English by raising their grammatical awareness of the tense system. Learners can use this tool to reveal or check the tense of sentences they select. Learners can discover typical patterns inductively by inputting numerous sentences. A simple pattern to notice is simple future for regular verbs, which is formed by placing the modal verb will before the infinitive. Alternatively, students who have been taught deductively can try to confirm whether sentences they input conform to the rule. This tool can also be used by teachers of English to prepare materials that need examples of particular tenses. Practical suggestions on how to incorporate this tool into classes will be given.




eLearning, tense, grammar