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    • #41166
      Anastasios Asimakopoulos

          Now, tell us which task you looked at and what your thoughts were in terms of:

          • its purpose/learning objectives
          • task instructions
          • layout
          • corpus techniques used
          • any links or answer keys included

          Please focus on ONE task only so that everyone gets the chance to contribute.

        • #43007
          Chris Richards

              I looked at ‘task 1’.

              • The task use corpora to nicely demonstrate a generally greater likelihood of one-word verbs over multi-word verbs (phrasal verbs) in academic writing. Having students look this up themselves in the BAWE allows them to see for themselves which is the more likely choice.
              • As I don’t know what context the task was designed for so I can’t comment much on the effectiveness of the instructions, however, I do think that the instructions are clear.
              • The task was laid out logically and clearly.
              • As I noted above with the task purpose, I felt that the use of the corpus was effective for leading to learning. I think the way the links were built-in to the task and the fact that students themselves didn’t have to seach the corpus meant it was also very student-friendly.
              • I mentioned links already. As for the answer key, for task 1B it was clearly laid out. For task 1A I thought it was interesting that the notes remind the teacher that not everything is straightforward and that carry out was more likely than conduct.
              • #43284
                Anastasios Asimakopoulos

                    Thank you, @chris-richards. I will wait for a few more contributions before I comment.

                  • #43535
                    Anastasios Asimakopoulos

                        @chris-richards I agree with you it was all clear and logical. The main thing the teacher could improve would be to use a different search function. Using the search functions Word and Phrase shows the frequencies of specific forms e.g. go up, and it does not include other inflections i.e. goes/going/went/gone up. If we are interested in the frequency of the words regardless of form, we need to use Lemma. Notice how results differ:

                        Of course, the main point is the same – phrasal verbs are not as frequent, apart from carry out.

                        If you are coming late into the task, feel free to suggest how you would adapt task 1A.

                      • #43732
                        Chris Richards

                            Ah, thank you @anastasios. That’s something I missed. It’s all about ways of thinking when we evaluate like this.

                          • #43734
                            Anastasios Asimakopoulos

                                Absolutely @chris-richards I am very keen on explaining these different functions to students (word vs lemma search) to ensure they all get the same results when we do something in class and they don’t end up feeling confused.

                            • #43426
                              Paul Middlemas

                                  Hello. I had a look at Task 2.


                                  its purpose/learning objectives

                                  • to introduce students to a wider range of more academic language for describing trends
                                  • to introduce alternative verbs (rather than phrasal verbs) for reporting trends
                                  •  to look at adverbs commonly used to describe changes in trends in more detail
                                  •  to facilitate students’ noticing of the above through BAWE (?)


                                  task instructions

                                  • they seem clear and relevant context provided with the graph, making the task more meaningful. It could have been more motivating/clearer to quantify the number of verbs you expect students to brainstorm for Part B.
                                  • it seems to follow a mini test-teach-test structure. I’m not sure what the task was, but could be an idea to provide students with further practice by giving them a few more graphs to describe.



                                  • It’s OK. But potentially some screenshots of the BAWE website highlighting the results might have been nice, perhaps increasing likelihood that students could later investigate this themselves…


                                  corpus techniques used

                                  • The information is presented to the students, which works well in terms of the objectives above. However, I think a kind of ‘discovery’ activity where students are required to seek out the information, rather than just presented with the language, could also work.
                                  • Follow up lesson might also think about left context language? E.g. alternate ways to describe the rate




                                • #43536
                                  Anastasios Asimakopoulos

                                      @paul-m thank you for your notes. I agree that some screenshots, links or concordance lines would make the task more visual and intrigue students. I would also have liked some variety in term of tenses; students might just use the Simple Past to describe the graph, couldn’t they?

                                      If anyone is coming late into the task, feel free to perform a search on Sketch Engine, share the link here and reflect on the effectiveness of the search.

                                      • #44161
                                        Anna Smajdor


                                            I would like to present an alternative variant of the table  in Part B of Task 2. I have decided not to change the choice of verbs. What I am interested in is to find an effective way of showing students how they could use the chosen verbs to describe the chart in the task.

                                            Please look at the following verbs in the examples of sentences from academic texts in BAWE to see how changing rates are described.

                                            The rate may …

                                            REMAIN constant, relatively constant, low, very high, extremely high, positive, unchanged throughout. EXAMPLES
                                            REACH 43.5%, around 26%, zero, a maximum, a plateau, the level at which the rate … . EXAMPLES
                                            DECREASE with increasing concentration of phosphate solution; proportionally with an increase in thickness; as some of the cells stop growing; from 23.41 to 4.81 µmol/O 2/mgchl./hour a reduction of 79%; to 8.93 µmol/O 2/mgchl./hour; a reduction of 62%; by the same amount; to, but never reach zero. EXAMPLES
                                            STABILISE –
                                            INCREASE continuouslyby 22%; from 5.0 to 5.4 percent; by 35% in comparison to rate 1; as the pH of the solution increases; with the temperature; to 26,000 units a year; by about 0.8% per year. EXAMPLES
                                            TEND TO depreciate; decrease proportionally with an increase in thickness. EXAMPLES
                                            RISE notas much; by less to …; from R 1 to R 2; less to …; from 16.5% of GNP in 1952-54 to 31.9% of GNP in 1970-71; tremendously; to a staggering 764%; to around 8%. EXAMPLES
                                            FALL not … any further; gradually during 1971 and 1972; to around 14%; to 5% per annum after 1998; steadily to around 4% level; below zero; to 3% by 2000; … and dipped below 6%. EXAMPLES

                                            If the exercise is done in class, the above lists of words that follow the verbs should be elicited from the given examples by students. If there is enough time, the teacher could complete the list with other words useful for describing graphs.

                                          • #44164
                                            Anna Smajdor

                                                Task 2

                                                Purpose/learning objectives:

                                                • to work with vocabulary for describing graphs, in particular verbs and adverbs.

                                                Task instructions:

                                                • are clearly expressed;
                                                • the graph seems a little bit too complex for language practice.


                                                • Although I like the general idea behind the task, I would modify the layout. First, I would ask students to make a list of verbs they know with which they could describe the graph. Next, they could describe the graph with them. Then they could work on examples from the corpus. Finally, after analysing corpus examples, students could improve their initial descriptions with the structures they have learnt during the analysis.

                                                Corpus techniques used

                                                • The list of verbs from BAWE that describe how rate changed meets only part of my expectations. Students may not know how to use the words in sentences. Additionally, there is nothing about adverbs that describe pace of change. This is why I have presented an alternative version of Part B in the previous post.

                                                Any links or answer keys included

                                                • Neither links nor answer key are included.
                                            • #43953



                                                  I looked at Task 1 and here is my evaluation.

                                                  • The task intends to enable the students to discover for themselves the common verb forms (phrasal verbs or single-word verbs) accepted in academic writing. I like how this purpose is simply but subtly incorporated into the task. The task also aims at building on the students’ existing knowledge of the commonly used verb forms in academic writing before getting them to discover the concept.
                                                  • The instructions given are clear and succinct.
                                                  • The task is designed coherently and logically; the fact that it is building on the students’ existing knowledge makes the task logical and intelligible.
                                                  • This teacher-controlled task seems to be keeping the students in control. The corpus tools used include the advanced option of searching for words and phrases and not lemma; if lemma was chosen, all forms of these verbs would have been shown. The fact that the corpus web tools are integrated into the task also makes the task controlled and user-friendly. It also makes it more direct, allowing the students to stay in focus – to identify frequencies of these two types of verb forms used in academic writing.
                                                  •  Yes, an answer key is included, and the links are embedded into the task.
                                                • #43956
                                                  Anastasios Asimakopoulos

                                                      Thank you for your post @osanka_r

                                                      Yes, I liked how the links were embedded by using a hyperlink. However, two of them did not work i.e. conduct and decrease won’t load, and I am assuming that the links weren’t copied/pasted correctly.

                                                      As for whether phrasal verbs are accepted in academic writing, I would assume that the task aims to show that they aren’t as frequent as their Latinate equivalents and should perhaps be avoided, apart from carry out. One could also design a task where students compare phrasal verbs in BAWE and BASE, the British Academic Speaking English corpus. For example, go up occurs 57 times with the relative frequency of 6.84 times per million tokens in BAWE and 163 times with the relative frequency of 92.8 times per million tokens in BASE (I am using the relative frequency here since the two corpora are of different sizes).  So, the phrasal verb go up is approximately 13.5 times more frequent in academic speaking than in academic writing. Just an observation in case you wanted to explore this further.

                                                    • #44213
                                                      Raymond Ingram

                                                          Just a few comments about Task 1 . It gave students a simple task in checking for frequency and to generate  explanations for use or not of  certain types of words, ie phrasal verbs. I also liked the exception, i.e. carry out, as this makes the point we need to consider the use of words in the corpus rather than rules

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