Edited By Tony Harris and Maria Moreno Jaen
Part one: Applying Corpora to Language Learning and Teaching
Part I: Applying Corpora to Language Learning and Teaching ALEX BOULTON Data-Driven Learning: On Paper, in Practice 1. The impact of corpora in language teaching and learning Corpora have much to contribute to teaching and learning, most obviously in advancing our knowledge of language and how it works, with improved descriptions finding their way into various types of reference materials. In paper form, they have been used for several centuries in preparing dictionaries, receiving considerable impetus from the COBUILD projects starting in the 1980s, with bilingual dictionaries now starting to catch up (see Cobb 2003). They are also increasingly used in the preparation of general usage manuals and specialised reference works treating particular areas of language use (such as phrasal verbs in English), as well as for grammars aiming either at comprehensive language description or at a pedagogically useful version for language learners. From such reference works with their improved linguistic description we can also expect more appropriate syllabuses firmly rooted in the reality of language use. This is most evident in the long history of corpus-based word lists, but most new materials from major publishers today claim to be corpus- based to some extent, as do more and more internationally-recognised language tests. So pervasive is the uptake of corpus information at such levels that it is barely possible to scratch the surface, and it is likely to continue unabated. However, it is worth noting that the corpus input described so far reflects an ‘indirect approach’ (Römer 2006: 125)...
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