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University of Warwick ELTAM. Tilly Harrison Week 7 Concordances and Data-driven learning. Overview. Issues with corpora and concordancers Examples and tasks Problems arising Three types of data-driven learning Examples of exercise types Hands-on practice. Corpus Basics .

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university of warwick eltam

University of WarwickELTAM

Tilly Harrison

Week 7

Concordances and Data-driven learning

  • Issues with corpora and concordancers
  • Examples and tasks
  • Problems arising
  • Three types of data-driven learning
  • Examples of exercise types
  • Hands-on practice
corpus basics
Corpus Basics
  • Plural = corpora
  • A body of text
  • (Now) held in electronic form
  • Data for linguistic research
  • No upper or lower limit for size
  • Large enough to yield useful data
  • Smaller corpora are less overwhelming
why corpora
Why Corpora?
  • Supplement to dictionaries and grammar books
  • Data is fresh and authentic
  • New insights are possible
  • Frequent use and typical collocations are memorable
  • The teacher need not be the authority
  • Language awareness is enhanced
corpus use for teaching
Corpus Use for Teaching
  • Pedagogic purposes differ from research purposes – the corpus should reflect the task.
  • Familiar corpora are better for learners
  • Learners should be capable of reading the texts used in the corpus
  • Smaller corpora yield fewer examples of common lexical words (eg pavement, ceiling)
  • Corpus search results can be unpredictable – prepare students for this.
how is the corpus searched
How is the Corpus searched?
  • Special software is needed - concordancers
  • Concordancers vary in type, purpose, complexity and price
  • Two main approaches - indexing text / calculating ‘on the fly’
  • Not all concordancers can carry out all tasks
  • The simplest concordancers are best for beginners
types of concordancer
Types of Concordancer
  • Lookup
  • SARA
  • Longman Mini Concordancer
  • Conc
  • AntConc
example advanced student writing an academic essay
Example - advanced student writing an academic essay
  • “This situation is deeply related with Japan’s foreign policy…”

Deep: of great intensity; extreme

Related: connected, associated

task look at the sets of concordance lines query results for related and deeply
Task - look at the sets of concordance lines (Query results) for ‘related’ and ‘deeply’.
  • Discuss in pairs / groups
  • What can a learner find out that would not be in a dictionary?
  • How could you show this to the learner?

Closely - 13/40 lines

To - only preposition used


No ‘related’.

Often used to express emotions, impressions

problem sentence
Problem Sentence
  • ‘The letters [to the editor] normally end up with the name of the author’
    • Teacher underlined ‘end up with’
    • Student now checks the dictionary….
longman cd rom for end up
end up phrasal verb

to be in a particular situation, state, or place after a series of events, especially when you did not plan it

He came round for a coffee and we ended up in bed together.

I wondered where the pictures would end up after the auction.

end up doing something

Most slimmers end up putting weight back on.

end up with

Anyone who swims in the river could end up with a nasty stomach upset.

end up as

He could end up as President.

end up like

I don't want to end up like my parents

Longman (CD ROM) for ‘end up’
task look at the sets of concordance lines query results for end up with and end with
Task - look at the sets of concordance lines (Query results) for ‘end up with’ and ‘end with’.
  • Discuss in pairs / groups
  • What differences do you notice?
  • Is this something it would be easy to find in a dictionary?
cobuild concordance for end up with
Cobuild Concordance for ‘end+up+with’

hat you will sometimes end up with unsaleable seats; we cost

edge. You are likely to end up with a patch of bare earth, but Will the public end up with no adult education? This

00 - and valuations and end up with nothing if somebody outbid

after Kentucky he could end up with egg all over his face. The

in the Bible, too. Some end up with more, some with less." And

two ways about it. You end up with a gun-law mentality.

`trial" will probably end up with Spurs getting 10 bonus basically you'll end up with chaos which is what's

his may mean `So we may end up with fewer people getting

ever know what you will end up with until it is too late. The

ot count coins, so they end up with a pocket full of change

cobuild concordance for end with
Cobuild Concordance for ‘end+with’

t deadlock with John Barnes will end with the England star ex Ferguson that looks certain to end with him having to move

e a life could pass so fast and end with open circles. He

y is to be continued. It does not end with chart success for

t spate of horse-slashing may not end with a criminal convicti

der Herve Garel, will start and end with time trials, in

ughly rejuvenating morning will end with a healthy buffet

had not intended the offensive to end with the capture of

be his last journey, which would end with his death in 1873 w

Jensen, what went right?" and to end with the words, `Never mind, Mr Jensen, it's

problem sentence1
Problem Sentence
  • If a man and a woman apply for the same job, it is no doubt that in many cases the woman will be accepted .
    • Teacher underlined ‘it is no doubt’
    • Student now checks the dictionary….
longman cd rom for no doubt
Longman (CD ROM) for ‘no doubt’
  • no doubt
    • used when you are saying that you think something is probably true
      • No doubt you'll have your own ideas.
      • She was a top student, no doubt about it (=it is certainly true) .
cobuild concordance for no doubt that
Cobuild Concordance for ‘no+doubt+that’

he progress? [/h] [p] There isno doubt that important advance

of anti-stress therapy There'sno doubt that coming home with

ound on these stands, there isno doubt that Turner's painting

egnancy and birth [/h] There'sno doubt that facing pregnancy

oreign affairs chief. There isno doubt that the talks will be

ke fewer than ten There can beno doubt that the result is an

said -- none the less, he left no doubt that he was delighted

pressure to step down: There'sno doubt that the inconclusive

in the opinion polls. There'sno doubt that many people are

had given him away. There wasno doubt that he was clever. It

nevitable embroidery, there isno doubt that Haig played a ma

tful of our soldiers. There isno doubt that we have, in this

  • Concordance lines are unfamiliar and off-putting
  • Cultural context and unfamiliar vocabulary can make the task more difficult
  • No data or conflicting data
  • Training is needed for the use of the concordancer
corpus creation
Corpus Creation
  • Representing the whole language?
  • BUT for LT not all text types are suitable
  • Examples of unsuitable texts:
    • Poetry
    • Dialect
    • Archaic
    • Technical
    • Artificial (ELT textbooks)
think about your students reading level what kinds of text would make a suitable corpus for them
Think about your students’ reading level. What kinds of text would make a suitable corpus for them?

Discuss in small groups.

corpus creation1
The natural use of function words can be seen in a very small corpus.

Many common content words may not be found even in a very large corpus.

The ideal corpus is made up of the texts your students need to read / write / say.

BUT a corpus of mainstream English (mass media) is adequate for teaching general English

Corpus Creation
data driven learning 1 prepared exercises
Data-driven Learning 1- prepared exercises
  • Learners as researchers – inductive approach
  • Types of Teaching / Testing
    • Collocation
    • Colligation
    • Cultural Associations
    • Semantic Prosody
    • Connotations
  • Needs teacher training and teacher time!
concordance based exercises
Concordance - Based Exercises
  • Inductive
  • Follow-up exercises
  • Can be needs / error analysis driven
  • BUT it takes time at first
  • Corpus should be at reading level of students
  • Genre of corpus should be suitable
exercise made using microconcord
Exercise made using MicroConcord

Fill in the gaps with words from the list below.


abort, communist, culturally shared, digital, his officials, minor, mixtures of liquid and crystals, molten rock, people who struggled with O-level, silicon chips, speed limits, worse,

1 on of TV, whether analogue or ____________, could offer better and bigger

2 stimates, whether better or ____________. Taking the best possible outcome of

3 ocieties, whether capitalist or ____________, have given only lukewarm

4 he melts, whether completely liquid or ____________, would fl

5 ndustry), whether he or ____________ had seen the recent Channel 4 programme

6 crucial. Whether idiosyncratic or ____________, they inform and mediate ou

7 y address whether load or ____________ should be adjusted for the machine's

8 isorder - whether major or ____________ - if nothing can be done about the

9 fluids - whether oil, water or ____________ - seep through rocks where

10 people - whether professional scientists or ____________

11 made of, whether protoplasm or ____________, but how the material is

12 to choose whether to attempt or ____________ a pregnancy; they would make the


Look carefully at the following citations from New Scientist. What do they have in common?

ena from more dubious data, we propose that they should be renamed "UAPs", for unidentifie

hen his advisory committee recommended that last year Depo-Provera should get a licence. C

eir drinking water. The EEC recommends that tap water should not contain more than 5 micro

he scale of the problem. It recommends that the government should set a firm date for thes

olol. The Greenfield report recommends that prescrition forms should contain a box, which

f the road plan was the recommendation that for half its length it should be routed throug

h a name for the strategy. He suggests that the term "porpoising" should be used to descri

put an absolute veto on-any suggestion that Post Office canvassers should be remunerated b

Now look at the following citations. How are they different from citations 1) - 8)? Can you explain the difference?

sed, and with it, speed. They proposed that Harward create a super-track tuned to hum

ed voice: 'Then will somebody propose that this paper be rejected irrespective of it con

under review. An HSE document proposes that GMAG be turned into ACGM - an Advisory

apolis. They said: "......we recommend that the dose of benoxaprofen be decreased

mistic. The committee also recommended that the government clarify the rules covering the

sing plants breaks down. It recommends that France take a second look at following the

h. The coordianting committee suggests that the appeal panel ask why this change has been

of the University of Bristol, suggests that a group of babies be trained to use a "baby-

gapped lines 1
Gapped Lines 1

What's the missing word?

infected people are prone to almost infection that happens to

that plasticity would have scarcely influence on failure in th

those who would like to see hardly movement at all. Harold

have, it is to be assumed, little if relevance to the actual,

ovember. He did not, however, detect pulses. The newly-discovered

gapped lines 2
Gapped Lines 2

What's the missing word? Choose from the list below.

Nouns : agreement, announcement, assurances, comment, proof, suggestion, warning

AN team does give them a ___________ that another Richter-7 earthquake is due in 7 or 11

ints could strengthen the ___________ that Britain needs to frame more acceptable noise l

schemes require detailed ___________ that applications for grants are soundly based, the

"We shall need cast iron ___________ that the work does not leak abroad," said Jenkin. T

t, 10 March, p 630). Your ___________ that the central thesis of my lecture does not stan

Last week's ___________ that a gigantic cloud of dark gas has been found in

e main network. Serpell's ___________ that this line should close could cost British Rail

e well. There was general ___________ that the struggle began much earlier -in the school

and many more
And Many More!
  • Matching
  • Cohesion
  • Cause / Effect
  • Lexical Sets
  • Fixed Phrases
  • Superordinates/Hyponyms/Antonyms
data driven learning 2 teacher using computer with students
Data-driven Learning 2 – teacher using computer with students
  • As above (inductive approach etc.)
  • Responsive to immediate needs
  • Authentic materials
  • Focus on form
  • Needs confident teacher
  • Many examples in Johns’ ‘kibbitzers’
data driven learning 3 students using concordancer
Data-driven Learning 3 – students using concordancer
  • As above (inductive approach, authentic materials, focus on form, immediate response to queries etc.)
  • Learner autonomy
  • Needs learner training
  • Presupposes advanced level students
  • What is it to know a word?
  • Exercises can focus on collocation
  • Concordancing reveals patterns - a new way of reading
  • Self access gives learners numerous native-speaker examples