• Teaching with Learner Corpus Data

    Bruna Sommer-Farias (see profile) , Valentina Vinokurova, Asya Gorlova, Mariana Centanin-Bertho
    Corpora (Linguistics)
    Item Type:
    Corpus Linguistics & Language Pedagogy
    Permanent URL:
    One type of resource that can facilitate teachers’ access to texts is the language corpus (plural corpora), which is defined as an electronically searchable collection of texts organized by text types and context representation, such as news articles, blog posts, dialogues, and others. While access to these texts provides teachers with an array of possible topics to inform both grammar and writing classes, it may be difficult to select texts that are appropriate to course content and students’ proficiency levels. In other words, texts from native-speaker corpora may lack examples of text types relevant to learners' proficiency levels as they are full of vocabulary and grammar that is unfamiliar to students, especially at the novice and intermediate levels. For this reason, we turn to learner corpora as an alternative. In this article, we discuss how to create corpus-informed activities using learner corpus data to teach language in context, facilitating analysis of grammar and writing in an integrated manner. First, we briefly discuss the basic elements of corpus search and their pedagogical applications. Then, we share a sample hands-off lesson created using the corpus Multilingual Academic Corpus of Assignments Writing and Speech (MACAWS), which contains written and oral assignments produced by students in the University of Arizona's Portuguese and Russian foreign language programs (Staples et al., 2019-, available at macaws.corporaproject.org). We hope that teachers use these examples as a springboard to expand this approach to other languages. To do so, we conclude by giving directions on where to find similar corpora resources and how to adapt these principles to their own contexts.
    Published as:
    Magazine section    
    Last Updated:
    4 months ago


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