EAP Knowledgebase

corpora – extra reading 01

This week I started an online course with Sheffield university about using Corpus tools in EAP. Here are some notes on the extra reading from the first week:

Vyatkina, N., & Boulton, A. (2017). Corpora in Language Teaching and Learning. Language Learning and Technology, 21 (3), 1–8. University of Hawaii,.

This article uses the abbreviation DDL – “data driven learning” to categorise the field. The term covers various strands of research, but they can be grouped as follows:
A– “theoretical underpinnings” – what the corpus data can tell us about the nature of language.

B– “descriptive”. Not really explained in the article, but I imagine articles that mainly describe particular practices used in the classroom or for materials writing and that speculate about future developments of the field.

C– Empirical evaluations – including learner attitudes, measuring the value of DDL for learners,

Empirical evaluations of the results from DDL as a teaching approach only start in around 2000. They note that there is relatively little DDL work done in the USA.

It uses the terms “emic” (from the subject’s perspective) to describe research done by asking students to fill in questionnaires…and “etic” (from the researcher’s or an external perspective) to describe research done with pre- or post intervention tests or other kinds of experimental control.

It notes two trends over time:

From lexico-grammatical studies towards greater interest in the characteristics of discourse.

From corpora as a learning aid towards corpora as a reference resource.