University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology
Université de Genève
Université Catholique de Louvain
Softissimo SA

  • University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST)
  • Department of Language Engineering

    UMIST’s department of language engineering is active in pure and applied research in various areas of language studies, linguistics, and computational linguistics. Besides training language engineers. The department also teaches foreign languages — in particular French — and thus offers specialists both in second language acquisition and computer assisted language learning.

    UMIST’s scientific contribution to the FreeText project is to create, gather, and pre-format the computer assisted language learning (CALL) content materials of the software. These materials will consist of (i) authentic documents, specifically created didactic materials, and exercises integrated into meaningful learning tasks within the planned CALL scenario, (ii) a linguistically motivated reference grammar (pre-formatting only), and (iii) additional exercises for revision and drill purposes.

    UMIST is the financial and administrative co-ordinator of the FreeText project.

    website :


  • Université de Genève (UGEN)
  • Département de linguistique - LATL

    UGEN’s department of linguistics hosts centres for generative linguistics and natural language processing (NLP). Researchers working in the department are linguists, computational linguists, or computer scientists. Work in computational linguistics has lead to the creation of several NLP tools, for French, English, German and Italian, including a syntactic parser, a speech synthesiser, a sentence generator and a translator.

    As part of the FreeText project, UGEN will develop and/or adapt for CALL the NLP tools required by the communicative approach of the system, among which an error diagnosis system, a sentence structure viewer, and a speech synthesiser. UGEN will also write a linguistically motivated reference grammar to be integrated as part of the didactic material.

    UGEN is the scientific co-ordinator of the FreeText project.

    UGEN’s participation in the FreeText project is financially supported by the Swiss Federal Office for Education and Science.

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  • Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL)
  • Centre for English Corpus Linguistics

    UCL’s Centre for English Corpus Linguistics is a specialist research centre with two core areas of research activity: computer learner corpora, and English-French contrastive linguistics/translation studies. UCL is also working on French learner corpora and has successfully started to transfer the techniques developed for English language error corpus analysis to French.

    Within the FreeText project, UCL will collect and analyse an appropriate learner corpus of written French. The results of this analysis, including an error typology, will be used by UMIST to propose pertinent hypermedia links between the content materials and reference tools, and by UGEN for the development of the error diagnosis system. Moreover, UCL will take a very active part in software evaluation, analysing data collected while conducting tests on student populations.

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  • Softissimo SA
  • For over ten years, Softissimo has edited, published and commercialised hypermedia software. Specialised in natural languages, the company offers a wide range of software from automated translation tools to multilingual dictionaries, spell and grammar checkers, and computer assisted language learning systems.

    Softissimo will contribute to the realisation of some of the NLP tools, but its main responsibilities in the FreeText project are the design and realisation of the software interface, the integration of the various components into a coherent and ergonomically sound CALL system, and the commercialisation of the end product.

    website :

    Last modified: Monday, 13-Sep-2004 10:53:17 MEST, Webmaster