Patterns of misspellings in L2 and L1 English: a view from the ETS Spelling Corpus


learner corpus
writing proficiency
word length
word frequency

How to Cite

Flor, Michael, Yoko Futagi, Melissa Lopez, and Matthew Mulholland. 2015. “Patterns of Misspellings in L2 and L1 English: A View from the ETS Spelling Corpus”. Bergen Language and Linguistics Studies 6 (May).


This paper presents a study of misspellings, based on annotated data from the ETS Spelling corpus. The corpus consists of 3000 essays written by examinees, native (NS) and non-native speakers (NNS) of English, on the writing sections of GRE® and TOEFL® examinations. We find that the rate of misspellings decreases as writing proficiency (essay score) increases, both in TOEFL and in GRE. Severity of misspellings depends on writing proficiency and not on NS/NNS distinction. Word-length and word-frequency have strong influences on production of misspellings, showing patterns associated with proficiency. For word-frequency, there is also a clear effect of NS/NNS distinction.


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Copyright (c) 2015 Michael Flor, Yoko Futagi, Melissa Lopez, Matthew Mulholland

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