SpanishChecker is a great tool to help your students improve their writing abilities in Spanish. In order to benefit fully from the site's ability to identify errors, we ask that you keep the following points in mind:
1) SpanishChecker is inspired by a process-writing approach to learning. Students should approach the writing task in stages. When using SpanishChecker, have your students submit a text, correct the errors, and then resubmit their work. This is important since SpanishChecker requires certain errors to be fixed before it will point out other ones. For example, if a student writes el chicas, only the number error will be highlighted initially. Once this change is made, the error concerning gender will be caught. It is through a series of interactions like this that students will make the greatest progress and that SpanishChecker will be most successful at identifying errors. Recent research shows that students make better progress when they are not overwhelmed by an excessive number of errors to correct.
2) SpanishChecker will not catch 100% of errors (nor will the average teacher!). It is a learning tool that is designed to help improve texts, not make them flawless (that's where you, the teacher, come in!). We therefore suggest that SpanishChecker be used for all first drafts and that your writing program include a two-stage correction (first by SpanishChecker, and then by the teacher).
3) The Pro version of SpanishChecker is particularly well-suited to helping learners. We say this because it has the following features:
The Pro version is available for a minimal fee of $249 for a classroom of up to 30 students (that's about 8$ per student!). We can arrange to have a site license for computer labs (direct access based on IP addresses), or self-registration groups (that allow students to manage their own profiles). Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. You can create a free trial account of SpanishChecker Pro and use it for up to 5 days. A video that explains the main functions of the Pro site can be found here.
We encourage teachers to have students use SpanishChecker systematically prior to handing in their text. One way of verifying this is to simply ask them to print off a screen shot of their final submission to SpanishChecker. We know that not all students enter the Spanish writing process with the same abilities. However, they should approach this important task with the same level of responsibility. SpanishChecker is one tool that will allow them to improve their texts substantially before requesting feedback from their teacher.
As always, feel free to contact us with any questions or comments.
The SpanishChecker team,
Dr. Terry Nadasdi & Dr. Stéfan Sinclair