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    • #34237
      David Read
      Keymaster
        @david

        Based on your reading of this article , add your ideas on the following points below:

        • Three things you learnt from the article
        • Two things you found interesting and want to apply to your own teaching context
        • One thing you are still not sure about

        By the way, if you would like to respond to a particular post, look at the top right of the post and use the button ‘Reply’. This way, your response will be posted below the post of your colleague.

        It is also a good idea to add the username that appears below their photo, that is the one that starts with @. This way, your colleague will be notified that someone has responded to them. Have fun!

         

      • #34556
        Ana Vucicevic
        Participant
          @ana93

          Hi @david,

          The things I particularly liked/paid attention to (more than three :D):

          1) the ways to offer meaningful input that is not as limited as the one usually found in coursebooks and other materials;

          2) the suggestions on how to contrast input from different languages and effectively point to some cultural differences reflected in those languages; also, I find it relevant to incorporate students’ L1 linguistic/cultural experience – it can make their learning more realistic and closer to them;

          3) the illustrations of using corpora at different points of the class/unit/activity (before, during and after the activity); in my opinion, this can help learners observe the sequence/stages that lead to a particular outcome relevant to their learning situation;

          4) some excellent observations on (non-)native teachers and  matters of intuition;

          5) the ways to make the classroom less teacher-centred and more encouraging with regard to student autonomy.

          What I find immediately applicable in the contexts I observed:

          -the concept of teacher reassurance, as the authors called it, acting as an incentive for a more detailed (but still reasonable) search and

          -the exercises contrasting L1 and L2, particularly with respect to some grammar points.

          I also got interested in students’ self-correction and perhaps a stumbling block may be the existent language proficiency. For instance, that example with semantic prosody (the lexeme ensue) – the teacher could detect the semantic nuances, but what if the student is not able to differ between positive and negative meanings, to associate the lexemes with particular contexts? For how long should we reassure them (how many contexts/collocations)? This might be a problem, I think.

          Otherwise, this reading provided a lot of ideas for teaching practice and, to be honest, for addressing my own issues with counterintuitive uses of English :scratch: (I am an L2 speaker).

           

          • #34581
            Anastasios Asimakopoulos
            Keymaster
              @anastasios

              Hi @ana93 it’s good to see there were so many ideas you couldn’t pick just three hehe now regarding semantic prosody, it is very important to direct the students’ attention to it with a question, the same way you would do for a grammatical point. You can just ask them if the words that follow or the sentence has a positive, negative or neutral meaning. That should be a great start. I prepared a sample of concordances for you using this unit’s corpus methods – see here. What question do you think you could ask them?

            • #34741
              Ana Vucicevic
              Participant
                @ana93

                Hii @anastasios, sorry for the late reply – bit chaotic these days. Now, I presume you are referring to left and right context questions. I will provide some general answers. I would focus on:

                – the context of the sentences on the scale of (in)formality of language and domains of language use (the genre of the source text and its corresponding style),

                – grammar points (what precedes/follows rather),

                rather + adjective constructions (as the most frequent ones),

                – the context those adjectives in terms of the scales I mentioned in the first point,

                – the meaning of the adjectives,

                – the patterns of rather + (in) formal/ positive/negative/neutral adjective

                What do you recommend?

              • #34783
                Anastasios Asimakopoulos
                Keymaster
                  @anastasios

                  Hi @ana93 don’t worry. I check the forums every few days anyway.

                  Yeah, these are all possible things you could do, but focussing on an aspect of your choice and asking specific questions can help ‘train’ students indirectly e.g. what kind of questions they can ask, how to find an answer and that answers aren’t always possible or objective – the beauty of qualitative analysis ;).

                  For example, if I decided to work on meaning, I would ask:

                  1) Look at the adjectives that go with rather. Would you say that generally rather goes with positive or negative ideas?

                  2) Are there other words before or after that help you decide if the adjective is positive or negative?

                  3) Study line 14 and line 16. Is the adjective realistic used in a positive or negative way? How do you know?

                   

                • #34789
                  Ana Vucicevic
                  Participant
                    @ana93

                    Thank you @anastasios!

                    Yeah, I was quite general, did not figure out I should be that specific. :scratch:   Sorry. :D

                    I have another question. Are you perhaps familiar with corpus tools for investigating and presenting rhetorical structure of a text? I am referring to Swales’ concept here.

                    I wanted to apply MAXQDA in my research, but, unfortunately, I find it a bit dear for non-institutional use. Any other recommendations?

                  • #34795
                    Anastasios Asimakopoulos
                    Keymaster
                      @anastasios

                      That’s okay, no need to apologise. I could tell you have plenty of ideas but I want to demonstrate some specific examples to help everyone in the forum. Now, regarding tools for qualitative data analysis I would probably say MAXQDA or NVivo – I haven’t used them myself but I know colleagues who have. What kind of research are you doing? I want to suggest AntMover by Laurence Antony see here https://www.laurenceanthony.net/software/antmover/ but not sure whether it is advanced enough for your research question/aims.

                    • #35614
                      Ana Vucicevic
                      Participant
                        @ana93

                        Hii @anastasios, for some reason I did not see you replied :D

                        Well, I am trying to figure out the best way to present stages of a text (moves and steps concept), particularly texts from large corpora. Visualising means a lot, especially because we tend to get realistic diagrams that show obligatory/optional elements of the investigated structure. I am afraid that the very rhetorical analysis remains manual because every text is a story per se and its functional elements (particularly when a segment of a text is multifunctional) are not easily detectable.

                        AntMover seems like a nice start, although I know nothing about it. I will try this out, thanks! :good:

                    • #34561
                      Vera Duncanson
                      Participant
                        @vera-t

                        Hello

                        The three important  ideas that can potentially help me change my view of corpora as something too complicated to use with my learners are as follows.

                        1. As a teacher, I should not be scared to use corpora in the classroom as this should not necessarily require (too much) additional preparation time.

                        2. I should not scare away my learners with words like corpus linguistics, corpora, concordance, but should perhaps call it a tool (for checking collocations, grammatical patterns, etc.).

                        3. Corpus data does not need to be a focus of a whole lesson – use little but often to develop a habit (in learners as well as myself).

                        I could immediately try:

                        1. (gap fill) handouts using concordances, in response to the actual learners’ needs ;

                        2. instead of providing ready made answers, to use corpus data to demonstrate to the learners how they can find an answer  themselves (the difference in the meaning between too words, e.g. cause – reason; whether it is possible to use a certain collocation; observe certain grammatical patterns, as in the example from Frankenberg-Garcia’s article about the use of the present perfect after It’s the first time …)

                        I’m still not quite sure about specific websites/corpora to go to. I need to practise using these tools so the skill becomes automatic before I can demonstrate their use to the learners.

                         

                         

                        • #34568
                          Babruwan Kore
                          Participant
                            @babruwan

                            @Vera

                            I liked the points you have shared. I do agree with you that  we should not be scared of using corpora in teaching, nor should we scare our learners. The second important point from your post is that teachers do not need a lot of preparation. They can start with a small thing and gradually increase its use when necessary.

                             

                            Babruwan Kore

                             

                          • #34591
                            Vera Duncanson
                            Participant
                              @vera-t

                              Thank you for your comments Babruwan :good:

                               

                            • #34583
                              Anastasios Asimakopoulos
                              Keymaster
                                @anastasios

                                Thank you for your thoughts @vera-t I think the third point you included is very important. We do not need to deliver an entire session using corpus tools. We can use corpus tools when planning lessons or developing materials e.g. a handout with concordance lines.

                                Regarding the tools, there are a few tools out there (the Ant Conc software, LancsBox by Lancaster University, English-Corpora.org by Mark Davies, LexTutor, etc.), but we will be focussing on Sketch Engine by Adam Kilgarriff and gradually helping you feel confident in various concepts, methods and ways of using this data in your practices. We didn’t want to overwhelm teachers so we chose one tool (the most user-friendly IMHO) in order to explore its various functionalities.

                              • #34592
                                Vera Duncanson
                                Participant
                                  @vera-t

                                  Thanks Anastasios, I know we are in the early stages of the course and will get lots of practice with Sketch Engine.

                                • #35242
                                  Cristina Pennarola
                                  Participant
                                    @pennar

                                    Thank you for your answers. Like @babruwan I find reading them very helpful and a valuable learning experience :heart:   Here are my highlights/quotes from the article:

                                    Three things you learnt from the article
                                    1. ‘With corpora, it is possible to supplement reading and listening activities with concentrated doses of the new input in a variety of contexts by means of customized corpus-based exercises that focus on new vocabulary, grammar and culture’: hand-outs of tailor-made corpus-made activities would reinforce the language input but can do without a lengthy introduction to corpus tools :yahoo:

                                    2. ‘There is no need to train language learners to become corpus linguists. All that is really necessary is to show learners how to look up the answers to the specific questions they ask, one question at a time.’: that’s a huge relief as sometimes the explanations sound terribly complicated and even off-putting! :yahoo:

                                    3. ‘hands-off’ printed materials or CALL exercises created by the teacher are ideal for extra activities that will benefit
                                    the whole class, rather than just one or two students. They do not take very long to prepare and
                                    can be reused again and again to address areas of difficulty that are not covered (or not covered in sufficient detail) by set course materials. ‘Hands-on’ corpus consultation, on the other hand, is an option that should be considered in situations where learners have individual questions requiring unique look-ups.’:  I find this an important distinction which is very relevant to my teaching and the kind of activities I prepare for the students.

                                    Two things you found interesting and want to apply to your own teaching context

                                    1. ‘corpus use needn’t be complicated or separate from everyday teaching, and can be realistically integrated with set course materials and well-known classroom activities.’: I could just check a word meaning or collocations through Webcorp or Flax, for example.

                                    2. the use of parallel corpora: the examples from the article seem engaging and easy. I’ve tried to use the parallel corpora search query tool on Sketchengine (thanks @anastasios!) and I managed (though It was a very basic search) :yahoo:

                                    One thing you are still not sure about

                                    How to effectively use corpus tools for learner’s self-correction: for example, you find many mistakes in a sentence, which sounds then so strange and complicated that  you do not really know where to start from :wacko:

                                  • #35303
                                    Anastasios Asimakopoulos
                                    Keymaster
                                      @anastasios

                                      Hi @pennar I particularly find error correction rather tricky. As you mentioned there could be several error types in a student’s work, and each is likely to require a different type of search, for each learners have to be gradually trained. Other factors that might complicate the picture is what kind of feedback is provided, if any, by the teacher. Does the teacher highlight the errors, identify the type of error, instruct student on the type of search required? If you would like to experiment, I would definitely recommend starting on a specific type of error and search. For example, you might work on parts of speech and helping students identify if the correct form has been used. You could show them that ‘will analysis’ gives 1 hit and ask them to type ‘will analys*’ (the asterisk stands for any undefined character) – see results : will analysis vs will analys*.

                                      I would recommend reading some research on error correction via corpus methods to get an idea of how much corpora can help and how effective they can be. The articles below would be a good start:

                                      Dolgova, N. and Mueller, C. (2019) ‘How useful are corpus tools for error correction? Insights from learner data’, Journal of English for academic purposes, 39, pp. 97–108. doi:10.1016/j.jeap.2019.03.007.

                                      Satake, Y. (2020) ‘How error types affect the accuracy of L2 error correction with corpus use’, Journal of second language writing, 50, p. 100757. doi:10.1016/j.jslw.2020.100757.

                                    • #35321
                                      Cristina Pennarola
                                      Participant
                                        @pennar

                                        Thank you so much @anastasios for your suggestions. I’ll definitely have a look at the articles and try to narrow down the focus on ONE language item at a time :good:

                                    • #34566
                                      Babruwan Kore
                                      Participant
                                        @babruwan

                                         

                                        Hello All

                                        Three things i learnt from the article are as follows:

                                        1. It is possible to motivate learners to use a corpus without knowing that they are using a corpus.

                                        2. Using corpora to enrich our lessons

                                        3. Engaging learners in finding solutions to problems in the forefront of their minds

                                         

                                        Two things you found interesting and want to apply to your own teaching context:

                                        1. Encouraging learners to use corpora to correct their own writing

                                        2. Using free corpora to supplement the current lesson

                                         

                                        One thing you are still not sure about:

                                        I am still not confident about learner autonomy in using corpora

                                         

                                         

                                        Babruwan Kore

                                        • #34585
                                          Anastasios Asimakopoulos
                                          Keymaster
                                            @anastasios

                                            Thank you for your post @babruwan I would agree with you: it’s a great start to think about how to supplement your existing syllabus, lessons and materials and also approach corpus tools as the ‘research’ tools that they are. I think your idea of encouraging students to form their own questions e.g. Can I say ….? and then seek solutions/answers using corpus tools is a good way of reinforcing learner autonomy.

                                          • #34624
                                            Babruwan Kore
                                            Participant
                                              @babruwan

                                              Thanks all for the posts. It’s a great learning experience reading these posts.

                                              Babruwan

                                            • #34701
                                              Anastasios Asimakopoulos
                                              Keymaster
                                                @anastasios

                                                @babruwan feel free to make notes of anything you find useful, whether it’s coming from us or another teacher, and regardless of the information we post e.g. reflection, link to literature, technical advise, ideas for lessons, etc. We encourage teachers to interact here as much as possible, but we do understand that you have busy schedules.

                                            • #34642
                                              Kim Pedersen
                                              Participant
                                                @anoshakim

                                                The article has been percolating around my head the last couple of days… It helped me reflect on my previous attempts to teach  students “How to use Sketch Engine” (with my own lack of confidence with the platform-it was pretty stressful). Three things I learnt:

                                                1.Corpora can be utilised quite spontaneously to respond to problems and queries as these arise- as “just” another pedagogic tool rather than as an intimidating and advanced linguistics skill. I like the emphasis on the “discovery ” aspect.

                                                2.  Using corpora can be a good way to work with  and recycle key or target vocab and a means of further exploiting material (including listening scripts) already being used in class.

                                                3. It’s probably more about finding creative teaching solutions rather than teaching software.

                                                Things I could do now in my context?

                                                1. Try using concordance lines to give feedback on poor collocations/ repeated errors

                                                2. Look for opportunities to slot in a quick corpora task in courses/ materials I’m developing now.

                                                I’m still not confident that I can help students know what to input to get useful results

                                                 

                                              • #34700
                                                Anastasios Asimakopoulos
                                                Keymaster
                                                  @anastasios

                                                  Thank you for your thoughts @anoshakim. Hopefully the two visual guides we have prepared for this unit will help you build your confidence in one of the most important corpus methods, concordancing. We have included a few tasks for your own practice but also to model possible tasks and questions you could do with your students. At this stage, we don’t expect, or advise, teachers to walk into a classroom and utilise concordancing spontaneously. By the way, what materials are you developing?

                                                  • #35070
                                                    Kim Pedersen
                                                    Participant
                                                      @anoshakim

                                                      Not so much a course but am trying to build use of corpora into an Academic Skills course for International Doctoral students-I think if anyone can benefit they can, but of course they also have so much on their plates, so it really needs to be practical for them.  I’d also like to bring it into MA Art courses but this is tricky since creative courses are less represented in most corpora-I’m looking into it!

                                                    • #35076
                                                      Anastasios Asimakopoulos
                                                      Keymaster
                                                        @anastasios

                                                        That sounds exciting and useful @anoshakim! With doctoral students, I would definitely recommend a DIY learner corpus, where students create their own mini discipline-specific corpus. Have you looked into AntCorGen and AntConc? We don’t cover them on the course, but I can link you to video guides on YouTube. AntCorGen is a great corpus creation tool that downloads discipline/topic-specific research articles in txt format. AntConc is the corpus analysis tool where you upload all these articles and examine concordances, collocations, keywords, etc. Perhaps, I can tell you more about them in the drop-in session if you are around. Let me know.

                                                    • #35012
                                                      Judith Gorham
                                                      Participant
                                                        @judith-gorham

                                                        Three things I learnt from the article

                                                        1. Using corpora is like the kind of exposure we get to language over time. We learn new words in any language by exposure to them in varied contexts over months and years. Using corpora is like a speeded up version!
                                                        2. CPD for teachers could usefully include corpora in the classroom.
                                                        3. It can help remove the focus from the teacher as the font of knowledge (thinking about learners discovering aisle in contexts rather than being told all those different kinds of aisle, which is what I’ve done in the past.

                                                        Two things you found interesting and want to apply to your own teaching context

                                                        1. Learners making their own corpora.
                                                        2. Using print outs with low-level learners, and potential for putting them on the wall afterwards.

                                                        One thing you are still not sure about

                                                        The amount of time the learner in the article spent finding out how to say ‘put on music’. Topic-based enquiries seem easily answered but grammar questions less so(?)

                                                        • #35063
                                                          Anastasios Asimakopoulos
                                                          Keymaster
                                                            @anastasios

                                                            Hi @judith-gorham! Yes, copies of concordances (either hard or soft copies) are a great start for hands-off activities. Regarding the learner in the article, I would agree with you that it takes some time, but I liked that the teacher instructed her to search for ‘put loud music’ first before trying ‘loud music’. I thought that was important as it helped the learner identify that we don’t say ‘put loud music’ (no results in the corpus), and later try out a shorter (more flexible) search that yielded some results. Perhaps, the choice of software (Figure 9 in the article) doesn’t make it easy to identify the left context because the keyword in context (loud music) isn’t centred like it is for the majority of concordance tools these days. By the way, we have an article on DIY corpora next week (I think), so do have a look if that’s an area that interests you.

                                                        • #35148
                                                          David Berresford
                                                          Participant
                                                            @dbtekid

                                                            Hi everyone!

                                                            Here are my answers to the questions.

                                                            Three things you learnt from the article:

                                                            1) There are so few studies conducted on the practical use of corpora in the classroom – this was surprising! Corpora has been around for quite a while, so I expected more studies to have been carried out in the classroom on its use.

                                                            2) Corpora tools really benefit autonomous learners – those who are willing to seek answers to their own questions in their own time. This is a great skill for an English learner to have!

                                                            3) Corpora can be used at various stages of production, and is not limited to just the before stage, which is what I had in mind.

                                                             

                                                            Two things you found interesting and want to apply to your own teaching context:

                                                            1) I’d like to encourage my learners to be autonomous, questioning the language, comparing it to their own. Corpora tools seem like a great way to do that.

                                                            2) Getting students to self correct their own work using Corpora e.g. a piece of writing, after the teacher or even their peers have highlighted some errors.

                                                             

                                                            One thing you are still not sure about:

                                                            1) Do tools like Compara exist for other languages, besides Portuguese – English translations?

                                                             

                                                            David

                                                            • #35155
                                                              Anastasios Asimakopoulos
                                                              Keymaster
                                                                @anastasios

                                                                Hi @dbtekid Great reflections, thank you. I think the article is from a few years back but not earlier than 2011 (judging from its reference list). There have been plenty of studies so I’m adding a few examples for you in case you want to look at the UoS online catalogue:

                                                                Bridle, M. (2019) ‘Learner use of a corpus as a reference tool in error correction: Factors influencing consultation and success’, Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 37, pp. 52–69.

                                                                Charles, M. (2014) ‘Getting the corpus habit: EAP students’ long-term use of personal corpora’, English for Specific Purposes, 35(1), pp. 30–40.

                                                                Friginal, E. (2013) ‘Developing research report writing skills using corpora’, English for Specific Purposes, 32(4), pp. 208–220.

                                                                Now, regarding parallel corpora, you can access OPUS2 by using your institutional log in (click on Select Corpus – Advanced and search for OPUS) . It includes about 40 languages if I am not mistaken. You can search for a word in a language, then select the second language and see the translation of the concordances. Below, you can see that I searched for /etsi/ (left) and hopefully you can tell what it means based on what I highlighted (right). Hope you like it ;)

                                                              • #36011
                                                                David Berresford
                                                                Participant
                                                                  @dbtekid

                                                                  Thank you for sharing the additional articles and resource for parallel corpora, they look very interesting and I will check them out.

                                                              • #35154
                                                                Kim Pedersen
                                                                Participant
                                                                  @anoshakim

                                                                  Ant Cor Gen and Ant conc as tools for generating discipline specific corpora form articles for my Doctoral students-hope to attend drop in on Weds Anatasios, so hope you will have time to show these tools. I couls also help solve the challenge of a relevant corpora for students on Creative courses.

                                                                  • #35156
                                                                    Anastasios Asimakopoulos
                                                                    Keymaster
                                                                      @anastasios

                                                                      Sure, depending on how many people come and what questions they have. I wouldn’t be able to demonstrate AntConc in an hour anyway, but I can show you how to find articles from creative courses with AntCorGen and upload them in AntConc. Have a look at the videos of the developer demonstrating these tools too (his instructions are super clear):

                                                                      Using AntConGer

                                                                      Getting started with AntConc

                                                                       

                                                                    • #35304
                                                                      Anastasios Asimakopoulos
                                                                      Keymaster
                                                                        @anastasios

                                                                        @anoshakim apologies for this, I spoke too quickly. I had a look today and AntCorGen does not cover any disciplines from the creative arts domain unfortunately. The only alternative you can consider would be to use Phd theses from the students disciplines and creating your own corpus using AntCon or Lancsbox

                                                                        Lancsbox also allows created a corpus automatically by using links to website/webpages. So, does SketchEngine but this feature is only available with an institutional log in.

                                                                    • #35167
                                                                      Hilary Whitehead
                                                                      Participant
                                                                        @hilary

                                                                        Hi there

                                                                        Three things:

                                                                        I’m so surprised at the lack of research  – there seem to be so many people talking about it, I thought there would be more out there.

                                                                        Very interesting that this can help students to learn and recall better than many of the activities we would normally give them – so why isn’t it more widely used? I suppose that’s why we’re here.

                                                                        So engaging because learners can make it their own.

                                                                        Two things:

                                                                        One of my main aims to enable my students to become researchers and this now seems possible. I think in the past I’ve tried to make it too complicated. The idea that it can be used like a dictionary is perfect.

                                                                        Follows on from above really – makes their writing etc very learner centred and focussed on what they need. I’d like to be able to use this aspect.

                                                                        Not sure about:

                                                                        How much time it actually takes for a student to learn how to use it quickly and effectively – can it be as quick as a dictionary/thesaurus? Think it would have to be to be really motivating.

                                                                         

                                                                         

                                                                        • #35177
                                                                          Anastasios Asimakopoulos
                                                                          Keymaster
                                                                            @anastasios

                                                                            Thank you @hilary for your contribution! As with any skill and particularly a technology-enhanced learning tool, it does take time, training and practice, especially if we hope that students will use it independently and effectively. Dictionaries like Cambridge, Collins, Oxford and Macmillan have been written using data from large corpora e.g. definition writing, selecting collocations and synonyms, identifying patterns and how they relate to the different meanings of an entry, frequency of meanings (top entry most frequent), register, etc. So, if a corpus is a drop in the ocean of language, a dictionary is a drop in the ocean of the corpus :mail: So, yeah corpus tools would need more time than learning how to use a dictionary, but I wouldn’t compare them to a thesaurus as it barely includes any useful information about language use in context.

                                                                        • #35168
                                                                          Rhian Webb
                                                                          Participant
                                                                            @rmwebb

                                                                            The most immediate thing that sprung to mind when reading this article is,  thank goodness someone has written such a clear, concise, thought-provoking and truly illuminating discussion on using corpus-based learning activities. What a treasure offered to us from the author, Ms. Frankenberg-Garcia, and also a great find from our course tutors. So thank you for that! I have learnt so much from reading that article, much of which I have in common with my peers from having read their posts.

                                                                            As I read the article and reflected on my own teaching experiences with learners, some methods of instruction jumped off the page, such as, enquiry-based instruction, guided discovery learning (and teaching), and my all time favourite, exploratory practice. The latter promotes the idea that learners’ questions should be embraced and fully explored & supported by the instructor as much as possible given the confines or limitations of a language course/programme. For some years now, I have been asking my students to frame/pose their questions about language starting with ‘why……’ (rather than what or how), and so when I read the article where the author provided examples learners could ask, such as, ‘How can I say _____________ in English? What _________ can I use here? Is _______ right?’ I thought ‘yes!’ learners can also add another question, ‘Why ____________?’ Especially after I have provided them with written /oral feedback. They could ask a question like ‘why is this word/phrase wrong?’  Often I don’t have sufficient time to go into lots of detail about why the specific language they have used is inappropriate or unnatural in English. If I pointed out that they have an authentic purpose and reason to find out for themselves using a corpus tool, then I can imagine that in their own time to explore, and with growing confidence, I believe that corpus querying will complement my feedback and perhaps even improve upon it. I would love for learners to tell me and their peers that they checked out why something is or isn’t and that they know more about it than I do! What a wonderful way for learners to teach the teacher! This brings me to the realisation, which is, engaging students with corpus tools (as and when it is required or when the teaching input lends itself to this type of activity) really can be transformative for the learner and teacher.  Not only does corpus-based language instruction and activities facilitate recall, boost incidental learning, promote learner engagement and autonomy but it also offers the possibility of a unique personalised learning experience, which can transform the learner’s relationship with the target language. All those frustrating attempts to master a word or phrase and all those mysteries surrounding the foreign language can, over time and with sustained effort, become a thing of the past for the foreign language learner. This is quite a revelation for me, and I hope to pass this onto to my students!

                                                                            • #35181
                                                                              Anastasios Asimakopoulos
                                                                              Keymaster
                                                                                @anastasios

                                                                                Thank you @rmwebb for your thoughts! We are glad to hear you found the article and the forum contributions useful. I personally find forming questions very important, especially with vocabulary and the various aspects of lexical knowledge such as polysemy, grammatical patterns, register, collocation, semantic prosody/preference, etc. For example, students can examine 15 concordance lines and ask ‘When does attack mean violence, illness and criticism?’ ‘What evidence in the concordance line do I have’? ‘, ‘Does the verb attack have these three meanings too?’, ‘What prepositions come after attack?’ etc. I also liked your point about personalising learning.

                                                                                 

                                                                                Finally, I’d like to thank everyone who participate so far – we are delighted to read your posts! Feel free to post at the weekend and we will get back to you on Monday! Take care.

                                                                            • #35201
                                                                              Karl Hannay
                                                                              Participant
                                                                                @karl-hannay

                                                                                Can someone explain the difference and significance concerning the difference between ‘raw frequency’ and ‘relative frequency’ when searching with a concordance?

                                                                                • #35249
                                                                                  Anastasios Asimakopoulos
                                                                                  Keymaster
                                                                                    @anastasios

                                                                                    Hello @karl-hannay. Raw frequency, or just frequency, is how many times your search term occurs in the corpus, while relative frequency, aka normalised, is how many times your term occurs per x number of tokens, usually per 10K, 100K or 1 million tokens (depends on the corpus tool). Relative frequency allows us to compare the occurrences of a word between corpora of different sizes. Let me give you an example. The lemma idea occurs 4,003 times in the BAWE corpus and 1,607 times in the BASE corpus (British Academic Spoken English). We wouldn’t be able to say that idea is more frequent in BAWE than in BASE  because the two corpora are not the same size; BAWE is about 8,336,262 tokens but BASE is 1,756,545 tokens. So, looking at the relative frequencies of idea in the two corpora, we can say that it is more frequent is BASE than in BAWE: 914.86 per million tokens in BASE vs. 480.19 per million tokens in BAWE. I hope this helps.

                                                                                • #35240
                                                                                  Vera Duncanson
                                                                                  Participant
                                                                                    @vera-t

                                                                                    A couple of considerations after finishing this unit…

                                                                                    Data-driven learning provides opportunities for students to actively participate in discovering knowledge and can thus be a useful tool in guided discovery activities.

                                                                                    But I can also see a problem with some students thinking that corpus tools is not the best use of their time as it can be time-consuming and leads to a ‘discovery’ of something that a teacher could have told them much more quickly, a problem that is also raised in Timmis (2015), from the Recommended reading section. I suppose this can result from the students’ cultural expectations of the learning-teaching process and can be dealt with by emphasising the importance of these tools for autonomous learning – we are demonstrating in class what students can do when they are not in the classroom and don’t have a teacher to ask their questions to.

                                                                                  • #35251
                                                                                    Anastasios Asimakopoulos
                                                                                    Keymaster
                                                                                      @anastasios

                                                                                      Thank you for you additional contribution @vera-t. Yes, that’s true, the learner’s perspective needs to be taken into consideration; we, teachers, have had years of training and experience and can see the value of choices we make in our teaching practices. If I were to respond to the learner that Timmis (2015) mentioned, I would perhaps tell them that ‘telling’ is not the same as ‘teaching’ :P We do need to emphasise the importance of X, Y, Z tool for autonomous learning, but I think it’s even more important to demonstrate the effective use of the tool. Below is an extract from Gilquin and Granger (2010, p.367), the one that Timmis referred to; I thought you might find it interesting.

                                                                                      For learners too, DDL may sometimes appear rather off-putting. Working with corpora is not straightforward and necessitates quite some training to acquire the basic skills – what Mukherjee (2002: 179) calls ‘corpus literacy’ (see also Sripicharn, this volume on the importance of preparing learners for using language corpora). Whistle (1999: 77) reports the case of some students who ‘failed to see anything’ and ‘failed to formulate any clear rules’. Students may have ‘difficulty devising effective search strategies’ (O’ Sullivan and Chambers 2006: 60) because of faulty spelling, for example, or simply because of the complexity of the processes involved (see Sun 2003: 607–8 for a good example of ineffective search strategy), and they may draw wrong inferences on the basis of the evidence (cf. Sripicharn 2004). It must also be stressed that DDL (and, in particular, the inductive learning strategies that it often entails) may be suitable for certain learners only, depending on their learning style.

                                                                                      References

                                                                                      Gilquin, G. and Granger, S. (2010) How can data-driven learning be used in language teaching? In: O’Keeffe, A. and McCarthy, M. (eds.) The Routledge handbook of corpus linguistics. London: Routledge, 359–371.

                                                                                    • #36164
                                                                                      Liane Sandrey
                                                                                      Participant
                                                                                        @liane

                                                                                        Hi @Anastasios- clearly this is very late in regards to the course pacing. As I have to spend a week in managed isolation/quarantine in New Zealand towards the end of November, I thought I would have time to devote to the course from the hotel. I digress…..

                                                                                        Three things I learnt

                                                                                        1. That you can direct learners to corpora tools without having to dedicate entire lessons to showing students how to use the tools. I love the way that you can include these ‘teachable moments’ into the lesson. My favorite way to teach.

                                                                                        2. I really liked the idea that you can use the tools at all stages of a lesson, both pre, post and even during.

                                                                                        3. That this could really help to develop student autonomy. :mail:

                                                                                        How will I use this?

                                                                                        I think the idea of providing useful examples of language for students pre-writing is intriguing. I teach an EAP class with  students studying pharmaceutical sciences. (I say with, as I’m learning science along with the students). I’m also starting to think about how to use corpora for students writing a final research project.

                                                                                        As well as teaching, I am currently developing EAP courses for students studying pharmaceutical sciences and I’m really trying to think about how to help my students by incorporating some of these new ideas into classes and materials. One of the main issues my students face is the volume of new vocabulary which doesn’t  share roots with their language,  so they are overwhelmed before even beginning to attend lectures. My interest is somehow trying to find ways to help them with this load through the use of Copora. And, that brings me to the part that I’m still not sure about- How can I best use these tools to help my students? Are there pharmacy based Corpora? I’m hoping to learn more about this as the course goes on.

                                                                                        I can feel ideas starting to bubble, and I’m looking forward to the next sessions of the course.

                                                                                         

                                                                                         

                                                                                         

                                                                                        • #36393
                                                                                          Anastasios Asimakopoulos
                                                                                          Keymaster
                                                                                            @anastasios

                                                                                            Hi @liane – it’s okay I always go back and check previous forums. Personally, I think the writer has a very idealistic understanding of corpus tools being used in the classroom with little explanation. That’s because of the way corpus tools are designed  – the more sophisticated functions a tool has, the more complicated its interface becomes. Hopefully, though with our guides on this course (Unit 2 onwards), you will get an idea of what kind of training is required before a student feels ready to use these tools autonomously. Regarding a pharmaceutical corpus, I would perhaps suggest using AntCorGen to download articles from pharmacy and then use AntConc to upload them and search for words (see link for software and manuals). I did that with my ScHARR students today. It took about an hour to show them how to upload the texts, how to research for words, how to read concordance lines and identify useful patterns. They had plenty of time to research 2-3 words and note down patterns. They were fascinated by the fact that they can check how writers in their discipline has used vocabulary to express caution e.g. likely, may, tend to, suggest, probably, etc. Give these tools a go a little later on the course if you want and let me know how you get on.

                                                                                          • #36459
                                                                                            Liane Sandrey
                                                                                            Participant
                                                                                              @liane

                                                                                              Thank you so much for your advice.

                                                                                              I will certainly check out AntCorGen. :-)

                                                                                          • #38564
                                                                                            Samuel Pealing
                                                                                            Participant
                                                                                              @sampea

                                                                                              Three things I learnt:

                                                                                              1. That students do not need to be completely trained in using corpora to use them. They don’t even need to know what they are in detail.
                                                                                              2. That corpora can be used to go beyond teaching collocations and vocabulary partnerships, but can be used to help students to identify and use complex grammatical constructions.
                                                                                              3. That there are only a few books on how to use corpora in language teaching.

                                                                                              Two things I found interesting:

                                                                                              1. I really like the idea of using corpora for teaching grammar patterns, and I feel that this can be used to take vocabulary learning a step further into being a way to encourage students to use new language.
                                                                                              2. I found out about the tool ‘Hot Potato’ which seems like a very useful tool.

                                                                                              One thing I’m not sure about:

                                                                                              Something that I teach in business English classes is how to write emails or letters, and I feel that corpora would be really useful here, but I’m not sure if there are any business English based corpora. Similarly, I’m also interested in creating materials for EMI training, and I wonder if there are any appropriate corpora for that.

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