MSGC proofreads faulty sentences
It is known that non-native English speakers in particular tend to rely on grammar- and style-checking tools to proofread their writing. For this experiment, we devised a few sentences that contain mistakes typical to non-English speakers: these included incorrectly chosen and confused words, redundant prepositions in combination with verbs, mixed word order, and generally bad syntactical constructions.
From the wealth of mistakes (each sentence contains at least one), the MSGC only picked up on the use of the first-person pronoun, which it thinks should be replaced with something less personal. Discouraging the use of the first-person pronoun is of course one of the many old-fashioned beliefs about formal language use that the MSGC still clings to.
We leave it up to you to decide how useful (or not) an MS grammar checker might be for your ESL/EFL students.
Text used in the experiment: Mock ESL/EFL student sentences with mistakes that we devised for an undergraduate writing course. Click here to download the sentences in a .docx format.