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Final assignment overview

What’s happening in this topic?

Time to complete: approximately 120-180 mins

In this topic you’ll be given information about the final assignment you need to complete on the course. 


For your final assignment, you are asked to design two sets of tasks that demonstrate your ability to design teacher-controlled and student exploration exercises and activities. Your understanding of these two teaching/materials development approaches should be evident in:

  • the data you extracted from the corpus and used in the task (copy-pasted sentences, screenshots, links to search results, etc.)
  • the task instructions e.g. asking students to use a particular SketchEngine tool/function themselves.

Sets of tasks

Each set of tasks should include one task that demonstrates a teacher controlled activity and one that gives students a chance to explore the corpus themselves to discover information.

Tasks/Sets Set 1 Set 2
Task One Teacher controlled Teacher controlled
Task Two Student exploration Student exploration

Teacher controlled

The first task in each set should require students to examine data you prepared (i.e. searched for and incorporated) in order to complete the task e.g. discussion, gap-fill, noticing, note-taking, multiple-choice, error correction, etc. In other words, students are not required to perform any kind of search on SketchEngine themselves. Your data can either be on paper (copied & pasted in the tasks) or in a hyperlink (for students to click on).

Student exploration

The second task in each set should require students to search for and find data in order to complete the task. In other words, this is a hands-on task and your instructions/screenshots should guide students on how to use the particular SketchEngine function. Please note that you are not asked to produce a long guide on how to use the tool; 1-3 screenshots should be enough to help students understand how to use the particular tool/function. 

In addition, your tasks can either be for classroom use or self-study. In either case, you don’t need to provide us with information about lesson stages, timings, S-T interactions, the limitations of online teaching, etc.


NOTE: You don’t have to demonstrate every possible tool or function in SketchEngine. Just use the ones you feel most confident in and those that make more sense for the type of task.

Suggested topics

If you don’t know what topics to choose, here is a list of suggestions to help you. Some are very specific, and others a little broad for you to narrow down. 

You do not have to choose from this list if you have your own ideas.

  • Prepositional phrases with at, on, in
  • The use of summary nouns e.g. this issue, this assumption, this result, etc.
  • The use of 1st and 2nd person pronouns i.e. I, you, we
  • The grammar of noun phrases
  • Reporting verbs/structures in hard sciences (i.e. PS & LS)
  • Collocations of high-frequency verbs e.g. show, provide, become, etc.
  • Subject-verb agreement in the Simple Present
  • The structure “it + is + adjective + to/that…”
  • Prepositions in Methodology Recounts
  • Commonly confused pairs e.g. affect/effect, then/than, accept/except, etc.
  • The use of linking words/phrases in essays
  • Collocations of stance nouns e.g. fact, evidence, idea, belief, claim, etc.
  • Modal verbs in the passive
  • Disciplinary variations of the structure ‘the + noun + of’
  • The different meanings of the word ‘theory’
  • Identifying part of speech from the context

NOTE: Some grammar topics are not suitable for student exploration e.g. asking students to search for complex grammatical patterns themselves will require the use of Corpus Query Language (Unit 6), which we recommend only for teachers. CQL should only be used in teacher-controlled tasks.

Presentation of tasks


For each set of tasks, provide a brief rationale (5-6 sentences) and make it specific to your students’ needs or the particular lesson/published materials you have in mind. If you have selected one of our suggestions, just tell us why you chose it. You don’t need to have any references to relevant literature.


There is no word count for the task instructions/content, but if you are designing a paper-based task you might want to consider the amount of data e.g. 10 pages of concordance lines for one task can be overwhelming and somewhat impractical. A task with a hyperlink to the data does solve this problem as students can flick through all these pages, but you would still need to consider whether they really need to flick through, say, 1000 concordance lines to answer 3-4 questions. 

Answer key

Please include an answer key to each task where possible; if a task requires the students’ own answers, you can provide a suggested answer that you would give to students as a model.

Example set of tasks

To help you get your head around the final assignment, we’ve created an example for you to look at below, complete with comments giving relevant explanations and clarifications. In your final assignment, you do not need to provide comments, they are here to help you. 

How do I submit?

In the final unit – unit 6 – there will be a special page where you can upload your assignment as Word or PDF or share via a link. 

When is the submission deadline?

The deadline is Friday 8th January. This is set after the end of the course but we appreciate that this is a very busy time of year for most people and it might be difficult to write the assignment before the end of the course.