November 15, 2021 at 10:00 #35126
Share your reflections on any of the following questions:
- How did you do in the task?
- What do you think the purpose of the task was?
- How would you adapt the task if you had to use it in class?
- What activity would you do as a follow up? (something that involves the use of Word Sketch and/or Concordancing)
- Add your own reflections…
November 17, 2021 at 18:53 #35610Rhian WebbParticipant@rmwebb
Hi everyone, and hi @anastasios,
I did surprisingly well 8/8 in under 4 minutes! This exercise came naturally to me and I don’t really know why but I suspect it’s because I am a highly visual kind of person. I love noticing things, observing them in more detail and then making connections through seeing patterns or words that jump out at me, and then I can hang/link everything off the main overarching pattern.
The purpose showed me that I don’t need to have much context to go off in order to make the correct associations between the words. Also, I stopped myself thinking ‘academically’ (or turned down the sensitivity filter to making academic word associations) and ramped up the ‘what the hell is going on here & curious to see if I can figure it out…?’ mode. It felt like a fun word game, so it energised me, and the activity switched on the problem-solving part of my brain that likes to solve word games!! Perhaps my learners would find it energising and fun too!
I love the interactive part of this technology app which allows the swiping of the words into their little shapes. There’s something very tactile about that action of moving the words across the screen. It felt good to do after so much typing etc. I would love to know how you created that tech! So, I would want my students to be able to have that experience too. I’d love it if they could design their own word games, and in class, we would have to solve them, and see who got the solution in the fastest time…now that really would be fun and energising! To sum up, I wouldn’t adapt the task but I’d ask my learners to adapt it just to see what interesting problems they’d come up with :)
I really like the way we didn’t know the academic discipline in advance or know the subject discipline corpus either. This is a really cool task because it means learners, who come from a wide range of subjects and expertise, would get the appeal and challenge; everyone could have a crack at creating their own discipline word task. We could learn a lot from trying to see how words overlap or don’t overlap between specific disciplines. Really there is a lot of scope in this and I am sure students would get the hang of it pretty quickly. I think the way forwards is showing them how to use different corpora in Word Sketch with collocations switched on and playing around with the results coming from scores and frequencies. Perhaps the hits/occurrences in concordancing can show that kind of information as well but this feels more time-consuming. I think Word Sketch would be better and they can make a collocation chain from having completed this task or even a paragraph chain! Wow!
November 18, 2021 at 17:20 #35967Judith GorhamParticipant@judith-gorham
I got the answers too. Yes, dragging and dropping is very satisfying
The purpose of the task seems to raise our awareness of the discipline selecting tool. Would a similar comparison exercise be useful with a mixed-discipline EAP class? I’m thinking of a class I had with computer scientists and translating students. Maybe the exercise could be followed up by students checking for the subjects preceding these verb – object collocations in concordance examples, and then comparing across disciplines(?)
I like the idea of students zooming in on their disciplines like this, after so much EGAP.
November 18, 2021 at 18:30 #35968Vera DuncansonParticipant@vera-t
8/8 – much better than in one of the previous tasks with manic monic polynomials :)))
The purpose of this activity could be to introduce academic vocabulary useful in various academic disciplines by drawing students’ attention to the collocates of the verb develop that are common in different disciplines such as strategy, theory, skill, etc.
The task could be to identify the most common collocates in your area of study then compare with your partner(s) (from a different area of study) to see which ones are common/discipline specific.
The activity could be developed into concordances with the most common collocates to analyse examples in context.
I agree with the previous posts that it was a satisfying task because of its interactivity and fun and because of the challenge to see the patterns and the differences behind the similarities.
November 19, 2021 at 07:35 #35973Yuqin NiParticipant@ziyinini
Each word could never exist by itself, it must belong to a certain group, or even a discipline. I studied the concept of semantic field two years ago for a program. Words of a certain category can be magnetic to one another.
As for the purpose of the task, I may say there are inner concordances or references of these words in the visuals. Therefore, the words around could be served as collocates, which can expand and deepen the theme study.
Let me take one example here, even though it may not be proper. I once taught ESP, logistics English. Students find that the learning methods of sense-group, language domain, very pragmatic and help them to build relationship between words and the signified. In a sense, corpus study could make learners of a certain field more precisely grasp academic English learning.
November 19, 2021 at 08:43 #35974
Thank you for your thoughts so far! I won’t respond to them just yet in order to allow more people to share their ideas. I’ll write a summative post next week, but I wanted to talk about the interactive tool I used to develop the task (Rhian’s question).
As you can see, I used Word Sketch to create four different visuals, which I later combined into one visual and hid some of the words. To do that, I used Snagit, an amazing capturing tool that allows you to add arrows, shapes, notes, numbers, visual effects, etc. We used this for our guides.
Now, the interactive part. To make the task interactive, I used h5p and more specifically a task called ‘drag and drop’, where you upload an image and add labels and drop zones. It does take a little time to create the first time, but you can clone your task and reuse later without starting from scratch. These tools are typically used by the technology-enhanced learning (TEL) team, who develop a variety of interactive content materials across our programmes at the ELTC. If you are interested in learning how to develop online materials for flipped/asynchronous learning, our amazing @david is also running a course called Instructional Design for Language Teachers.
November 19, 2021 at 11:18 #36010David BerresfordParticipant@dbtekid
I got them all correct the second time of asking. I knew which pairs of words belonged to which discipline, but putting them in the correct circle was the tricky part, especially as some circles contained many of the same words. It’s only when I studied them carefully I could recognise some key words which told me the discipline e.g. ‘infection’ = life sciences.
I think the purpose of the task was to show that you don’t need much background information or in-depth knowledge of the subject area to be able to make word associations. I think it also highlighted collocations that are commonly used in all disciplines e.g. ‘theory’ and ‘idea’.
I liked the interactivity too using the drag and drop. It’s always a nice feeling when they turn green.
November 19, 2021 at 14:01 #36017Hilary WhiteheadParticipant@hilary
I got them all correct too but didn’t time myself. I agree with @vera-t – easier than the polynomials!
I think we all probably used our vocab knowledge but I suppose you could guess and still get a reasonable score. Using collocates as a next step would take away the guesswork and hopefully lead to a more informed answer.
I love a drag and drop – and a star! I’m actually a very bad student….I hate getting things wrong
November 21, 2021 at 09:50 #36072Ana VucicevicParticipant@ana93
Hii @anastasios and everybody here,
What an energetic start of Sunday for me! I have to say that I have got a lot of impressions after this exercise, mostly because of the brainstorming I experienced. My attention went in so many different directions!
Honestly, I got all the answers after a while and presumably because I detected the discipline-specific words (for instance infection and resistance in Life Sciences or program, robot, network in Physical Sciences). However, other words applicable to all fields (technology or theory) made this assignment a bit demanding for me. This is something @dbtekid mentioned as well. In that sense I agree with him and @rmwebb on the question of the purpose of the exercise.
As for usage in class, it depends on learners, but:
– to make it easier: I would perhaps put less of those generic concepts and introduce more discipline-specific ones;
– to make it a bit more complex: @judith-gorham I liked your ideas very much, checking the right and left contexts perhaps combined with some advanced search filters. It could be interesting to try to elicit collocations of the same word with a specific focus on everyday vs disciplinary use and the use in different disciplines.
As for some other tools you mentioned in the guide (teacher development section): Hask looks nice, particularly with all those options for making visuals. Still, at first glance, it seems a bit complicated for a laywoman like myself.
November 22, 2021 at 08:05 #36167Babruwan KoreParticipant@babruwan
I got some of the answers correct.
I am sorry but i did not understand the purpose of this task. Could anyone please help me understand the purpose of this activity?
November 22, 2021 at 15:33 #36381
Below is a summary of what you mentioned with regard to the purpose/benefits of the activity/tool as well as some details I have added to clarify things. Have a look and do let me know if you need further clarification – happy to answer your questions.
- Summarising the most typical collocates in a visual way (the four circles were generated by using the visualisation tool from Word Sketch and they summarise collocates of ‘develop’ in four different subcorpora)
- Identifying associations between collocates of a word e.g. infection, disease, cancer, etc. → same semantic field (almost like a ‘magnet’); vocabulary does not exist in a vacuum. Guesses are due to lexical priming.
- Collocates give information on the aboutness of the subcorpora (disciplinary categories) e.g. infection, disease, cancer, vaccine, resistance, etc. → Life Sciences.
- The idea of ‘zooming out’ to see the big picture first before ‘zooming in’ specific examples = typical pattern in corpus linguistics research that combines quantitative (collocates determined statistically) and qualitative (collocates examine in context in concordance lines)
- Identifying collocational similarities and differences of a term between different subcorpora (AH, SS, PS, LS) e.g. theory, model, method, strategy were found in various disciplinary groups, but can still differ in the way they are used in sentences.
- Fun and engaging problem-solving activity – interactive
- Free writing practice e.g. sentences or paragraphs using the collocates.
- Students choose a subcorpus that represents their discipline. Further study of context using Concordance i.e. how does a shared collocate differ? For example, develop + theory in LS vs develop + theory in AH with a focus on subjects i.e. Who develops theories in SS? Who develops theories in AH?
- Adapting to include fewer collocates – that’s possible by controlling the number of collocates on the visual but that does not necessarily remove the general ones and only include discipline-specific collocates. It is very important to consider how many words and which ones to remove as this affects the difficulty of the task. For example, I didn’t think it’s worth removing theory and asking people to drag it to the circles three times – that would have resulted in doing the task mechanically as opposed to trying to make connections.
- Adapting to examine discipline-specific collocates e.g. Chemistry as opposed to those from the disciplinary group e.g. Physical Sciences. Unfortunately, this is only possible with a full membership/ institutional login. However, there is a way around it though. You can use Concordance and Text Types to find a word in a specific discipline, then use the Collocations button from the concordance lines (top right). This approach, however, requires more decisions e.g. selecting the window span you are interested in (L5-R5, L3-R3, R1-R5, etc.) as well as the association measure. T-score is similar to frequency so it will give you a lot of grammatical words for collocates. MI is for exclusive but rare combinations so it favours really rare words in the corpus. LogDice, on the other hand, focusses on exclusive but frequent collocates, and it’s the association measure that Word Sketch uses. It is also the only standardised measure (with a theoretical maximum value of 14), so this gives you a frame of reference, unlike MI and t-score that require cut off points.
If you are arriving a little late, feel free to add more ideas/comments or respond to the ones I and everyone else has shared.
November 29, 2021 at 18:36 #37320
Thank you @anastasios for this very helpful synthesis! and sorry for my late contribution which maybe is not very relevant to SketchEngine or Corpus Tools. I would just like to share my confusion with regard to the conventional classification of the disciplines into 4 categories and the shifting role of Linguistics, which according to some pertains to AH and according to some others to the Social Sciences. In fact, if I hadn’t noticed “economy” in the SS circle, I would have put “law” and “economy” in the third visual, and “character” and “criticism” in the second. Luckily, I noticed economy in time and so got 8/8.
As pointed out by @dbtekid, some words like “idea” and “theory” (and probably many more) are in common with different disciplines. So I think it may be an interesting follow up to check the concordances of these common words (“idea”, “theory”, “knowledge” although this last word is missing in the 4th circle) across the disciplinary subcorcora. We may just focus on those words (not necessarily “develop ____”) and check whether they are in a subject position or object position and what kind of modifiers (with positive or negative connotations) refer to them.
November 30, 2021 at 11:25 #37332
Hello @pennar. That’s a great idea! I am a big fan of examining semantic prosody in concordance lines! Regarding the broad disciplinary groups, I could perhaps say that your confusion is normal because this is one of the issues that corpus developers have to deal with when building a corpus. These broad disciplinary categories in the BAWE (AH, SS, PS, LS) were determined by the developers by examining the assignments they had collected from each discipline. It was also worth remembering that the assignments came from four different universities (Warwick University, Reading University, Oxford Brookes University and Coventry University towards the end of the project), and that might have made the task even more challenging since universities tend to differ in terms of how faculties and departments are organised. For example, here at the University of Sheffield, the School of Architecture and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning come under the Faculty of Social Sciences, with education, law, economics and journalism to name a few other disciplines. So, if I was doing research I would have to decide whether I keep architecture in social sciences or group it with physical sciences. It is one of those hard decisions corpus developers have to make. Hope this helps a little.
December 1, 2021 at 21:45 #37486
November 30, 2021 at 15:35 #37357Judith GorhamParticipant@judith-gorham
I suppose we are using a dataset (corpus) that has been created by a multitude of decisions by researchers, around what to include/exclude. And then there all the linguistic decisions made by the writers themselves, all having their input in our search results.
I’m keen to create a corpus myself – a small one that is! I don’t think that’s covered in our remaining weeks?
November 30, 2021 at 17:13 #37446
Hi @judith-gorham. We don’t cover in Sketch Engine because not everyone has an institutional log in, not to mention the fact that we will lose the ELEXIS-funded membership in 2022 :( However, at the end of Unit 6 we have an interactive guide that we share with teachers who want to use AntConc to create their own mini corpus. I would like to develop a seventh unit at some point where we cover principles of corpus design and some other corpus-building tools.
December 5, 2021 at 16:39 #37535
December 1, 2021 at 16:09 #37484Rhian WebbParticipant@rmwebb
@anastasios and @judith-gorham – I really want to do that Unit 7 ! and build a mini-corpus as well to use with my science and engineering students. Their subject discipline lecturers would also benefit from such a corpus. I think they don’t realise just how mentally demanding it can be too 1) learn a foreign language & 2) use the target language in an academic discipline. I know I could never do it, which is just as well, so I can expend my energies on making this kind of language fun as efficient, effective and fun as poss!……
December 6, 2021 at 09:36 #37560
Hi @pennar and @rmwebb. For now, it would be just the interactive guide at the end of unit 6 I’m afraid. Adding a new unit is one of my long-term plans and it requires a proposal and permission before I start developing it and digitising, so I doubt it would be ready before November 2022. I can add a few good reads on corpus design in the final reference list for you too.
January 6, 2022 at 13:21 #38568Samuel PealingParticipant@sampea
I enjoyed this activity. I’ve never really used the visualisation tool in Sketch Engine before because I prefer lists, but I can appreciate that for some learners, this would be a much better way to see collocations.
I feel that this activity was about word associations, so a good way to follow this up in class would be to write example sentences or to run more searches for pairs of words and analyse the use of the collocations in context.
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