Gilquin, G., Granger, S., & Paquot, M. (2007). Learner corpora: The missing link in EAP pedagogy. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 6(4), 319–335. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2007.09.007
learner copora, especially how one collection was used to create the
“Macmillan English dictionary for advanced learners” with its
special section on academic writing.
note that most research has been about corpora of native speaker
English. The aim of the article is to demonstrate how a corpus of
student writing can be helpful for dealing with writing problems.
Flowerdew 2002 with four distinct research paradigms in EAP –
first three of these focus on the context or situation of the
communication. Corpus based analysis is distinctive because it allows
much more detailed information about language structures. The first
three all deal with things that are also problems for native speaker
novices at academic writing: “pragmatic appropriacy” and
different software for work with corpora. Including:
that “academic discourse is highly conventionalised”.
“contrastive interlanguage analysis” is useful in showing L2
differences in learners with different L1. Or comparisons between
learner language and “natives” who are supposed not to be
learners in the same sense. (there is some research on corpora of
“novice native” writers but there is not so much overlap with the
problems of non-natives.
of the kind of things that can be discovered by looking at learner
Learners are familiar with key EAP verbs but not their lexico-grammatical patterning. Modal verbs, connectors are problem areas.
Interesting note about Coxhead – the list she produced took out the 2000 most commonly used words. These words can be used differently in Academic English and so could be usefully studied too.
mention for Milton 1998 wordpilot which was based on learner English
in Hong Kong – it’s actually a CALL application rather than a
coursebook. (traditional resources are more conservative).
it hard to make materials for academic writing based on corpora?
shows that the discourses are varied according to the discipline. In
the universities students tend to get EAP for General Academic
purposes…not so specific.
need to be trained to use corpora.
can be L1 specific which also makes for less generalisable
may not be a clear link between the results of corpus research and
what actually ends up being taught. There are other factors:
learners’ needs, teaching objectives and teachability.
monolingual learners’ dictionary. In the Macmillan project 12
rhetorical or organisational functions are identified.
an argument that using a corpus of expert writing is not ideal to
teach language learners. Maybe a corpus of writing by novice native
speaker students would be more appropriate? But these could also
provide not very good models!
macmillan project used the “International Corpus of Learner
English” with 6085 essays written by learners with 16 different
mother tongues. The essays are untimed and written with the help of
project goes for a compromise about L1 influence: “ Only
linguistic features shared by at least half of the learner
populations under study are discussed in the writing sections.”
Examples of learner problems:
overuse of the phrases: for instance and for example.
Overuse of adverbs for certainty like really, of course, absolutely
underuse of hedging adverbs – apparently, possibly, presumably
tendency to put however at the start of a sentence, and less likely
to put it in the middle.
Using THOUGH in sentence final position is typical of NS speech but
not so likely in academic writing.
Wrong use of ON THE CONTRARY (which actually means the opposite is
true) to mean simply “by contrast” or “on the other hand”.
Invented phrase like “as a conclusion”, where NS writes IN conclusion.
This research produced the “get it right” boxes in the dictionary.