BEA Newsletter #1

4 minute read

Hi all, welcome to the first BEA Newsletter! The mailing list includes 102 researchers that we contacted to review for the BEA9. The email contains the following (and thanks to all who emailed in with contributions and announcements to make):

  • BEA9 Announcements
  • Affiliation Changes
  • Job Announcements
  • New Resources

Our current thought is that there will be 4 to 6 newsletters a year and we may move to a google-groups account for the next one. In the interim, if you have announcements you’d like to make or know of people who would like to receive the newsletter or if you’d like to be removed from the distribution list, please send us a note. Administration aside, let’s get to the fun stuff…

Joel, Jill and Claudia

BEA9 Announcements

Thanks to all for reviewing the BEA9 workshop proposal and recommending reviewers, we have a record 86 reviewers on deck for the program committee if the workshop is accepted! If you can take a moment and skip to section 4 of the attached revised proposal and let me know if there are any errors in your name or affiliation, that would be great (sometimes accent marks get lost). Please send any changes to this account by Wednesday, October 09. After that we will submit the workshop proposal (deadline is October 20). We will be notified on acceptance/rejection on November 04 and will inform you as well if it gets in. Also, if you have any further recommendations for reviewers, please feel free to email as well. If the workshop is accepted we can still add people to the list.

Affiliation Changes

I wanted to highlight some of the position changes that have happened in the last year. If you or someone you know in the EduNLP-verse has made a change, please let me know and I can add it to the newsletter.

  • Keiskuke Sakaguchi has started his PhD at Johns Hopkins University (was formerly at NAIST in Japan).
  • Markus Zampieri is now working at Saarland University as of the first of October (was formerly at the University of Cologne).
  • Daniel Dahlmeier successfully defended his PhD on grammatical error correction at National University of Singapore and now works as at the SAP Research and Innovation Lab in Singapore.
  • Annie Louis successfully defended her PhD at University of Pennsylvania and is a postdoc at the University of Edinburgh.
  • Min Chi just started as an Assistant Professor at North Carolina State University.
  • Rada Michalcea is now an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan (was formerly faculty at University of North Texas).
  • Svetlana Stenchikova just started a research position at AT&T (was formerly a postdoc at Columbia University).

Job Announcements

  • The National University of Singapore has Research Fellow and Research Assistant positions open (Hwee Tou Ng). Please see attached document “NUS-positions2013.docx”.
  • Educational Testing Service has a Research Engineer position open (via Keelan Evanini).
  • The University of Pittsburgh has a postdoc position open, here are the details:

    We are looking for a two-year postdoc to join an interdisciplinary project bringing together research on psychology of feedback/peer review, writing education, natural language processing, and artificial intelligence. Ideal candidates have experience with middle or high school classrooms in the US and methodological skills in either quantitative data analysis (multiple regression, factor analysis) or computational methodologies (natural language processing or artificial intelligence or intelligent tutoring systems). General information about the project can be found at: Interested candidates should send a CV and two letters of reference to

New Resources

  • The SALLE (Syntactically Annotating Learner Language of English) Project has released a beta version of their syntactic guidelines for English learner data. The corpus won’t be available for at least another year, but the guidelines (about 150 pages) are available at - they welcome any feedback and hope they stimulate discussion on linguistic properties of learner data.

  • New Corpus of L2 English writings: EF Cambridge Open Language Database (EFCamDat)

    We are pleased to announce the release of a new resource of L2 English writings, the EF Cambridge Open Language Database (EFCamDat). EFCamDat was developed at the Dept. of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, at the University of Cambridge in collaboration with EF Education First, an international educational organisation. EFCamDat contains writings submitted to Englishtown, EF’s online school, accessed daily by thousands of learners worldwide. The database currently contains 412K scripts from 76K learners summing up 32 million words. As new data come in, we expect to reach 100 million words by the end of 2014 and be able to follow the longitudinal development of even more students.

    Scripts are organised according to EF’s proficiency levels and the topic of the writing activity, and contain teachers’ corrections and score. In addition, scripts have been annotated automatically with with Penn Treebank part-of-speech tags (Marcus et al., 1993) and grammatical relations according to the Stanford Dependency scheme (De Marneffe et al., 2008) . Details of the automatic annotation and evaluation of how these tools perform on learner data is presented in Geertzen et al., 2013.

    EFCamDat is freely available to the academic community, subject to an end-user agreement protecting copyright. It can be accessed through a web based interface at: Please click on Frequently Asked Questions to download relevant documentation.

    The interface supports selection of scripts from different proficiency levels and by learners of different nationalities and proficiency levels, search for parts of speech and grammatical relations, and export of raw text as well as tagged scripts. We gratefully acknowledge support by the Isaac Newton Trust, Trinity College, Cambridge, and EF Education First.

    Dora Alexopoulou, Rachel Baker, Jeroen Geertzen, Anna Korhonen