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Using Corpus-based Research for Language Teaching and Learning. ENGLISH 510 Hee Sung (Grace) Jun & Kimberly LeVelle. The importance of corpus-based research for language teachers. By Susan Conrad (1999). Definitions of terms. Corpus : principled collection of naturally-occurring texts

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using corpus based research for language teaching and learning

Using Corpus-based Research for Language Teaching and Learning

ENGLISH 510

Hee Sung (Grace) Jun & Kimberly LeVelle

definitions of terms
Definitions of terms
  • Corpus: principled collection of naturally-occurring texts
  • Corpus Linguistics: the empirical study of language relying on computer-assisted techniques to analyze large, principled databases of naturally occurring language
  • Concordancers: software programs that display words or simple grammatical terms with their surrounding context
limitations of previous corpus based work for language teachers
Limitations of previous corpus-based work for language teachers
  • 1. Small-scale analyses
    • Small collection of texts compiled by convenience
    • Looking at all occurrences of a word or reading a transcript from corpus
  • 2. Focus on lexical or lexico-grammatical analyses
    • Study words alone or words in connection with a grammatical feature
characteristics of corpus based research
Characteristics of corpus-based research
  • 1. Use a principled collection of naturally-occurring texts (corpus)
    • Size
    • Diversity
  • 2. Use computers for analyses
  • 3. Both quantitative analyses and functional interpretations of language use
advantages of large scale corpus based studies
Advantages of large-scale corpus-based studies
  • 1. Allow investigation of a variety of factors
    • Frequency
    • Semantic categories
    • Grammatical structures
    • Clausal positions
    • Individual items
  • 2. Easy to investigate social variation
    • register, gender, regional differences
  • 3. Provides both structural description and information about use
    • Intuition  concrete support and examples that reliably represent real language use

Interrelated

will corpus linguistics revolutionize grammar teaching in the 21 st century
Will corpus linguistics revolutionize grammar teaching in the 21st century?

By Susan Conrad (2000)

changes in grammar teaching and research at the end of the 20 th century
Changes in grammar teaching and research at the end of the 20th century
  • 1. Renewed interest in focus on form
  • 2. Computer technology enabled the development of corpus linguistics
slide9
Three revolutionary changes in grammar teaching in the 21st century prompted by corpus-based studies
  • 1. Monolithic descriptions of English grammar  register-specific descriptions
  • 2. Integration of teaching of grammar with teaching of vocabulary
  • 3. Structural accuracy  appropriate conditions of use
four factors on which the future of grammar teaching depends
Four Factors on which the Future of Grammar Teaching Depends
  • Introduction of corpus-based research to the right audience including teachers and teachers-in-training
  • Thoughtful presentation of pedagogical applications of corpus research
  • New grammar teaching materials that incorporate corpus-based research
  • Teachers’ willingness to deviate from traditional grammar syllabi and accept the changes
types of corpus based research
Types of Corpus Based Research
  • TEACHING ABOUT (i.e., teaching about corpora/corpus linguistics)
  • TEACHING TO EXPLOIT (i.e., teaching students to exploit corpus data)
  • EXPLOITING TO TEACH (i.e., exploiting corpus resources in order to teach)
methodology
Methodology
  • Students studying Applied Languages and Applied Languages with Computing
  • 3 week unit on corpora and concordancing
  • Students design own investigation
  • Corpora for each language were compiled from journalistic and academic writing sources
findings
Findings
  • Student reactions to the activity
    • grammar text and corpus together
    • types of text to include in corpus
  • Discovery learning
    • Learner autonomy
disadvantages
DISADVANTAGES
  • Not a replacement for grammar book
    • prescriptive vs. descriptive dilemma
  • Limitations of small corpus
  • Time intensive
  • Learner training (as discussed by Jinrong and Pan Na)
  • Availability of corpora (esp. in variety of languages)
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