Exploring corpora with young learners
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Exploring Corpora with Young Learners. Sofia Funenga Lisbon, 26th November. Context. Class: - 4th year - 9 / 10 years old (English language learners fro m the age of 3) - A2 / B1 level Topic : - Dinosaurs

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Exploring Corpora with Young Learners

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Exploring corpora with young learners

Exploring Corpora with Young Learners

Sofia Funenga

Lisbon, 26th November


Exploring corpora with young learners

Context

Class: - 4th year

- 9 / 10 years old

(English language learners from the age of 3)

- A2 / B1 level

Topic: - Dinosaurs

Languagefocus: - Vocabularyandchunksrelated to dinosaurs


Exploring corpora with young learners

In Class


Exploring corpora with young learners

DINOSAURS


Exploring corpora with young learners

Howmuch do youknowabout…

DINOSAURS?

  • - Inpairs, try to find 10 wordsrelated to dinosaurs

  • Wordscanbeor

  • Write the words next to the puzzle


Exploring corpora with young learners

Howmanywordswereyouable to find?


Exploring corpora with young learners

Let’s do some dino-reading!

1. Inpairs, readthetextandthen decide whethereachsentenceistrueorfalse.

2. Youhave 5 minutes to complete thistask.

Time

iscounting…


Exploring corpora with young learners

Do youknowany

filmsaboutdinosaurs?


Exploring corpora with young learners

For thenexttask

1. Listen to a news reportaboutJurassicParkandfillinthegaps.

2. Youcanonlywriteonewordineachgap.


Exploring corpora with young learners

Do youneedanyhelp?


Exploring corpora with young learners

Almostfinishing

Now, to complete eachsentence, choosethecorrectoption.


Exploring corpora with young learners

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/kids-only/dinosaurs/

At home, you can go to

the Natural History Museum site

and find out much more about dinosaurs.

Off yougo, now!

You did really good today!

Verygood, everyone!


Exploring corpora with young learners

Rationale


Exploring corpora with young learners

WhyDinosaurs?

  • Very appealing topic for children

  • Motivation enhances learning

  • Provides opportunity to teach vocabulary and grammar at the same time

    • young learners teaching should focus on vocabulary and chunks, rather than explicit grammar (McKay 2006)


Exploring corpora with young learners

Whyusing corpora?

  • “The instant availability of searchable online corpora has much to offer to the teacher of English in both first and second language contexts.” (Anderson 2009)

  • Real and authentic language

  • Young Learners – “The searching task from a corpus may be too overwhelming for beginners or young learners” (Chen 2004)

    • Corpus based exercises and materials


Exploring corpora with young learners

Different corpus andthewordsdinosaur / dinosaurs

  • BNC – British National Corpus

  • COCA – Corpus of Contemporary American English

  • Time Magazine Corpus

  • Business Letter Corpus

  • - Compara

  • Micase

  • Sacodeyl

  • Europarl

  • Open Subtitles

Written and

spoken language

Written language

Spoken language

highest number of hits for both words : Corpus of Contemporary American English

Transcriptions


Preparation for the warm up

Preparation for thewarm-up

1. Use of COCA to findoutwhichwords are more commonlyrelated to dinosaur

2. Selectionofthewords

3. Design thewordsearch puzzle usingthe

1 – BONES (97 hits)

2 - MONUMENT (55 hits)

3 – FOSSILS (52 hits)

4 - EGGS (41 hits)

10 - MUSEUM (23 hits)

19 – SKELETON (18 hits)

20 – PALEONTOLOGISTS (15 hits)

21 – JURASSIC (15 hits)

22 – DIG (15 hits)

32 – FOOTPRINTS (12 hits)


Exploring corpora with young learners

True / False exercise


Exploring corpora with young learners

True / False exercise

1. Selectionofthetext: finding a real text


Exploring corpora with young learners

True / False exercise

2. Check the level of the text – Oxford 3000

  • - “in a typical lower intermediate text close to 100% of the words will be Oxford 3000 keywords”

  • ( http://www.oup.com/oald-bin/oxfordProfiler.pl)

  • 96 % of the words of this text are part of the Oxford 3000

  • suitable text for A2 learners


Exploring corpora with young learners

True / False exercise

3. Design thetrue / falseexercise

  • use of

  • on-line exercise: enhancing motivation

  • time limit: more challenging


Exploring corpora with young learners

Gap filling exercise


Exploring corpora with young learners

Gap filling exercise

1. Selectionofthetext

  • BNC – British National Corpus

  • Oxford 3000 to check the level of the text

“Teachers can design a gap filling task for students to do in pairs. (...) Teachers can use the authentic contexts searched from corpora to compose a gap-filling sheet for students to work on.” (Chen 2004)

2. Preparationofthetext

  • text read by another teacher / student

  • text recorded using


Exploring corpora with young learners

Gap filling exercise

3. Design exercise

  • use of

  • short-answer exercise – allows students to practice listenning and writing

  • on-line exercise: motivating

  • clues and hints: opportunity for weaker students to succeed


Exploring corpora with young learners

Multiple choice exercise

1. Selectionofthesentences

  • basedonthemostfrequentcollocates for theworddinosaur

  • 93% ofthewords are partofthe Oxford 3000

  • corpus based exercise

  • real sentences from very different contexts

  • focus on vocabulary and grammar structures at the same time

  • opportunity to analyse unfamiliar / curious structures or words

  • sentencestakenfrom:

  • COCA

  • BNC

  • Time Magazine

  • OpenSubtitles


Exploring corpora with young learners

Multiple choice exercise

2. Design theexercise

  • use of

  • multiple choice exercise

  • focus on the meaning of words related to dinosaurs


Exploring corpora with young learners

Homework

Suggestionofvisitingthe website ofthe

Natural HistoryMuseumofLondon

  • content aimed at the students’ age

  • simple but real language aiming at native speakers

  • informal and motivational task for students to play outside the classroom with the class language and content

  • opportunity to relate the class topic to the cultural aspect of the Museum


Exploring corpora with young learners

Implications

  • Thislessonwillonlybepossibleif:

  • Eachstudent (orpairofstudents) hasaccess to a computer

  • Internet isavailable


Exploring corpora with young learners

Summing up...

  • ICT helpscreating appealing activities for students

    • “ICT is motivating both for students and for teachers. It makes the learning process more enjoyable” (Davies 2010)

  • Corpus-basedmaterialsprovideseveral opportunities for contact with real / authentic language

  • All taks can be put online (blog, moodle, Twiducate, e-mail)

  • Teacher can use this presentation with more than one class


Exploring corpora with young learners

References

  • - Anderson, W & Corbett, J (2009) Exploring English with Online Corpora, London: Palgrave MacMillanDavies.

  • British National Corpus <http://corpus.byu.edu/bnc/x.asp> (accessed 19 November 2010).

  • Business Letter Corpus <http://www.someya-net.com/concordancer/index.html> (accessed 19 November 2010).

  • Chen, (2004) “The Use of Corpora in the Vocabulary Classroom”, The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. 10, 9.

  • Compara < http://www.linguateca.pt/COMPARA/index.php> (accessed 19 November 2010).

  • Corpus of Contemporary American English <http://www.americancorpus.org/> (accessed 19 November 2010).

  • Davies G. & Hewer S. (2010) Introduction to new technologies and how they can contribute to language learning and teaching. Module 1.1 in Davies G. (ed.) Information and Communications Technology for Language Teachers (ICT4LT), Slough, Thames Valley University.

  • Europarl En < http://urd.let.rug.nl/tiedeman/OPUS/bin/opuscqp.pl?corpus=Europarl3;lang=en> (accessed 19 November 2010).

  • First News <www.firstnews.co.uk> (accessed 19 November 2010).

  • McCarthy, M. (2004) From Corpus to Course Book, Cambridge University Press.

  • McKay, P. (2006) Assessing Young Learners, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Micase < http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/micase/> (accessed 19 November 2010).

  • Natural History Museum < http://www.nhm.ac.uk/kids-only/dinosaurs > (accessed 20 November 2010).

  • OpenSubtitles < http://urd.let.rug.nl/tiedeman/OPUS/bin/opuscqp.pl?corpus=OpenSubtitles;lang=eng> (accessed 19 November2010).

  • - Oxford 3000 http://www.oup.com/oald-bin/oxfordProfiler.pl (accessed 21 November 2010)

  • - Sacodeyl < http://sacodeyl.inf.um.es/sacodeyl-search2/> (accessed 19 November 2010).

  • Time Corpus < http://corpus.byu.edu/time/x.asp> (accessed 19 November2010).


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