A New Look at Materials Evaluation: Using Corpus to Count Collocations in EFL Textbooks Used in Venezuela: Jersus Colmenares
A New Look at Materials Evaluation: Using Corpus to Count Collocations in EFL Textbooks Used in Venezuela Jersus Colmenares Abstract The present paper argues for the addition of a corpus assessment of language teaching materials as part of an overall process of evaluation for selection purposes. Vocabulary analysis via corpus can be used to predict success or to analyze performance retrospectively in materials. However, while the literature offers a variety of proposals for materials examination, it seems that more empirical methods to evaluate the role of vocabulary remain absent from consideration in the whole appraisal. Accordingly, I will describe and discuss selected aspects from a larger study on collocations in English as a foreign language (EFL) textbooks used in Venezuela, which can serve as guidelines for similar procedures elsewhere. Keywords Materials evaluation, corpus methods, predictive evaluation, retrospective evaluation, collocations Introduction With the rise of corpus linguistics as an approach to answering a wide range of challenging questions about language, the present paper explores its applications to materials evaluation within the context of secondary education. Despite the growing number of studies that attempt to compare textbook descriptions of vocabulary with actual language use in real life (Barbieri and Eckdhart 2007; Biber and Reppen 2002; Jiménez Catalán 2008; Juffs 1998), it seems that reported uses in materials evaluation for selection and adaptation purposes are hardly common in the literature. Traditional methods for materials evaluation have consisted of confirming the existence of target elements through the use of surveys or checklists....
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