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Studies in Learner Corpus Linguistics

Research and Applications for Foreign Language Teaching and Assessment


Erik Castello, Katherine Ackerley and Francesca Coccetta

This volume explores the potential of using both cross-sectional and longitudinal learner corpora to investigate the interlanguage of learners with various L1 backgrounds and to subsequently apply the findings to language teaching and assessment. It is made up of 18 chapters selected from papers presented at the international conference «Compiling and Using Learner Corpora», held in May 2013 at the University of Padua, Italy. The chapters discuss current issues and future developments of the use of learner corpora, present case studies based on teaching and assessment experiences in various contexts, and longitudinal corpus-based studies conducted within the Longitudinal Database of Learner English (LONGDALE) project. Other chapters report on investigations of specific aspects of the interlanguage of a variety of learner populations, and the last ones address issues of corpus compilation and representativeness. The majority of the contributions draw on data produced by EFL learners from Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, and the Netherlands, while others concern learners of Italian and Spanish as Foreign Languages.
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The Compilation and Use of a CMC Learner Corpus for Japanese University Students


1.   Introduction

This chapter will describe the design process of a language course using Computer-mediated Communication (CMC) and will explain the choice and use of digital materials with the purpose of compiling and using a learner corpus. The chapter has three main sections. First, course design using CMC for English classes in a Japanese university context is explained and justified, together with an outline of how the learner corpus was compiled. Second, the basic details of the learner corpus and a native-speaker reference corpus are presented, followed by the results of corpus analysis showing convergent and divergent usage of pronouns by the Japanese learners. Third, the pedagogical benefits of using a course designed around CMC is explored: first by showing an example of how corpus analysis can contribute to course material development, then by discussing the results of a survey that showed how the course helped to increase students’ motivation. The chapter concludes that corpus analysis of student CMC makes it easy to identify learner needs by highlighting tendencies that are common to the group in an EFL context, which can thus contribute to course and material development. ← 103 | 104 →

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