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Learner corpus profiles

The case of Romanian Learner English


Madalina Chitez

Aiming at exemplifying the methodology of learner corpus profiling, this book describes salient features of Romanian Learner English. As a starting point, the volume offers a comprehensive presentation of the Romanian-English contrastive studies. Another innovative aspect of the book refers to the use of the first Romanian Corpus of Learner English, whose compilation is the object of a methodological discussion. In one of the main chapters, the book introduces the methodology of learner corpus profiling and compares it with existing approaches. The profiling approach is emphasised by corpus-based quantitative and qualitative investigations of Romanian Learner English. Part of the investigation is dedicated to the lexico-grammatical profiles of articles, prepositions and genitives. The frequency-based collocation analyses are integrated with error analyses and extended into error pattern samples. Furthermore, contrasting typical Romanian Learner English constructions with examples from the German and the Italian learner corpora opens the path to new contrastive interlanguage analyses.
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2. Romanian Learner English: research scope


2.Romanian Learner English: research scope

2.1English as a Foreign Language in Romania

Romanian Learner English has been an integral part of Romanian linguistics since the introduction of English in Romanian school curricula (in 1970). Despite the popularity of French, which represented 60% of the foreign languages taught in Romania (Sim 2008: 1), the English-centered research studies were quite numerous in the early 1970’s. In fact, the majority of the Romanian-English contrastive studies are gathered into a successive collection of articles written between 1971 and 1978 as a result of a multi-year research project: Romanian-English Contrastive Analysis Project.

English as a Foreign Language has recovered its privileged status in Romania after the fall of the communism and is primarily associated with the globalization trend (Andrei 2006: 772). In fact, Romania signed the Bologna Declaration in 1999 “expressing its commitment to establishing a European area of higher education and to promote the European system of higher education” (Chiper 2006: 717). In connection to that, the Ministry of Education introduced a series of measures intended to improve the teaching of English in order “to meet overwhelming demands at all levels of instruction” (Sim 2008: 644).

The impact of the communication approach to teaching was considerable, and it affected the teaching of foreign languages; programs and curricula were changed, foreign manuals and foreign teachers were welcomed on the educational market. (Andrei 2006: 772)

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