James Hanlon

    Hi! I am not sure if used it correctly. I didn’t seem to be able to enter the text into Flax. I will check the how to guides shortly. I am not sure that I got the answers to the questions in the previous part. For example, the most frequent word according to webcorp seemed to be “corpora” with 20, but “the” is not featured on the list despite featuring in the text.

    Surprising: The low number of C1 words. Just a handful in the whole text. Indicating that B2 is an acceptable level for academic study. Additionally, the C1 words often appeared to arrive in clusters, meaning it could be difficult for B2 readers to “guess” the meaning of those sentences.

    Usefulness for students: I agree with Jamie that it could be useful in deepening their understanding of collocation. Perhaps it could be used to show the low appearance of overused students’ collocations (“development of technology”, I’m looking at you). Or maybe it would be me to have my eyes opened to the fact that academic writers really do often suggest that the “government should enact some policies to solve the problem”. Put another way, it may be interesting or useful to highlight difference in student usage and authentic/real academic (for want of a better word) usage.

    I would need a better understanding of exactly what the tools are capable of to think more clearly about classroom applications. However, I feel that the problems my learners have with academic writing are more complex and intermingled with problems in other skills (eg they did not clearly understand the source material when they read it). I know no one is claiming these corpus tools are a silver bullet, but my EAP students are usually around 5.5 IELTS and collocation are not their main problem. I wonder what we could realistically expect our learners to get from exploring corpus texts or treating a set of first drafts as a corpus. Clearly, the fault here is mine, and I will have to spend longer familiarising myself with the tools mentioned. If anyone has concrete activities or experiences I would be all ears.