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What's in a Narrative? Variation in Storytelling at the Interface Between Language and Literacy

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Edited By Christiane Bongartz and Jacopo Torregrossa

Research on narrative production plays a central role in linguistics, psycholinguistics and language acquisition. Narrative elicitation allows researchers to investigate specific linguistic structures and the processes involved in their acquisition in an ecological way. This book provides methodological remarks on how to approach research on narratives, identifying factors that underlie variation in narrative production, including the type of narrative task, cross-linguistic differences, learners’ literacy and cognitive development and the narrative practices in society. The volume features contributions on theoretical and methodological aspects of research on narratives from 16 researchers in linguistics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics and developmental psychology.

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Cristóbal Lozano, Ana Díaz-Negrillo and Marcus Callies: Designing and compiling a learner corpus of written and spoken narratives: The Corpus of English as a Foreign Language (COREFL)

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Cristóbal Lozano, Ana Díaz-Negrillo, Marcus Callies

Designing and compiling a learner corpus of written and spoken narratives: The Corpus of English as a Foreign Language (COREFL)

Abstract: In this chapter we report on the creation of the Corpus of English as a Foreign Language (COREFL), a learner corpus of written and spoken narratives produced by Spanish and German learners of English as a Foreign Language at various levels of proficiency. We outline the benefits of learner corpora for the study of narratives when compared to more controlled elicitation techniques used in SLA research, and then detail the conceptual design of the corpus, the tasks and the process of data compilation. We conclude by sketching the possibilities the corpus provides for research into specific linguistic phenomena that can be observed in narrative structures.

Keywords: learner corpus, EFL, speaking, writing, anaphora, topic continuity, topic shift

1. Introduction

Learner corpus data and corpus linguistic tools and methods are increasingly used in the study of the acquisition, use and development of a second language (L2). Learner Corpus Research (LCR) is an interdisciplinary field at the crossroads of corpus linguistics, Second Language Acquisition (SLA) research and foreign language teaching (see Granger, Meunier and Gilquin 2015, Meunier and Littré 2013). (Quasi-)Experimental and introspective data, mostly gained through highly-controlled elicitation techniques, have traditionally been favored in SLA. Such techniques are typically used when researchers working with an analytic-deductive design intend to test a specific...

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