Using English Language Corpora in the ESL Classroom. I-TESOL Conference October 12 th , 2012 Brent A. Green Salt Lake Community College. Introduction. Personal and Professional interests in using corpora in language teaching
October 12th, 2012
Brent A. Green
Salt Lake Community College
(Biber et al, 1988)
1. Research question
2. Extensive review of the literature
3. Summary of experts across form, meaning, and use categories
4. Comparison of experts against spoken and
5. Reformulation and expansion of existing frameworks
Before you look for the collocates of each of the words deep, run, smile, and fairly -- what would you guess are the best collocates -- in other words, surrounding words that really help to "define" these words?
Are there any that are surprises in what you see in the corpus?
Compare the collocates of the two words democrats and republicans. According to these texts (from newspapers, magazines, TV talk shows, etc),
Any possible media bias here?
Compare the frequency of second vs secondly in academic texts. Which one would you guess is more frequent?
What issues do we have when we make this comparison?
Compare the adjectives used to describe women and men.
Does this reflect biases in contemporary American culture?
Adapted from Sripicharn 2003
(a)My father used to exercise every morning
(b) My father would exercise every morning
Sample sentences and Idioms
(Hartmann, P. & Blass, 2000)
S2: you feel th- as though you're in a lab or, [S1: yeah almost ] <LAUGH> it's a little a little bit a little bit odd. okay. uh, the reason i asked you to come in is that, i- i'm looking at the grades and i'm looking at at this paper and, you're at the point where i don't want you to, fall off the edge. uh and and get a grade that's not gonna be, supportive. it seems to me that you know that you've been in touch with things in the class and that i, i liked what you did with your poem to change it which wasn't_ which must have involved a fair amount of work. [S1: (i don't know) ] to, you know to get that in a different order and to get the system ba- was it a lot of work?
S1: mm, it wasn't too much it didn't take me too long to just, use the same word i just, i'd say the hardest part yeah was changing the sentences. trying to make 'em all fit again. [S2: okay ] but it wasn't too bad.
S2: okay. but the rhythm seemed to work right and, [S1: mhm ] it it really did, come out to be a sus- sestina and one of the effects of the sestina is that, since you're using those words over and over again they they tend to acquire different meanings they tend to to just, they sound different in different combinations [S1: mhm ] and and they mean something. but let's look at this [S1: kay ] um, because i think that that part of what's happening here, is that is that you're using a lot of words where few words would work. where you don't really need that that many words to say what you want to to say. and there are some cases where you're where you're looking, or where you seem to be saying something um, and i think i know what i know what you want to say, but because you've sort of, you've given me more than than i need you're really disguising the meaning [S1: mkay ] rather than bringing the meaning out. so that, if y- if you look at this sentence and if you just r- read that sentence aloud.
Victor: Do you have a few minutes?
Pam: Sure, I’m Pam.
Victor: I’m Victor
Pam: Hi Victor. Have a seat. How can I help you?
Victor: Well I’m in Dr. Sears’ American Lit class…and I’m having a lotta trouble with that poetry unit. I’m thinking of dropping the class
Pam: Oh. I hate to tell you, but Friday was the last day to drop.
Victor: Oh no. I knew I should have dropped last week.
Pam: Well, it’s all right. Let’s see what we can do to get you through the class. Guess literature isn’t your thing, huh?
Victor: It’s just this unit on poetry. I did okay with short stories.
Pam: What’s giving you problems?
Victor: I just don’t get a lot of this modern stuff. It just doesn’t seem like poetry to me.
Pam: What exactly bothers you?
Victor: I understood the poems by Robert Frost and Maya Angelou, But the poems in last night’s homework don’t rhyme or have rhythm or anything.
(Hartmann, P. & Blass, 2000)
(R. C. Simpson, S. L. Briggs, J. Ovens, and J. M. Swales, 2002)