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Corpus Linguistics and Language Pedagogy

In: English and Literature

Submitted By AhmedASallam
Words 7079
Pages 29
Corpus linguistics and language pedagogy: The state of the art – and beyond
Joybrato Mukherjee Justus Liebig University, Giessen

Abstract The present paper provides a selected overview of the state of the art in corpusinformed language pedagogy. Starting off from a general assessment of the impact that the corpus revolution has already had on English language teaching (ELT), the focus of the main part of this paper is on some typical examples of corpus use in three language-pedagogically relevant areas: (1) using corpora for ELT (e.g. producing learner dictionaries); (2) using corpora in the ELT classroom (e.g. in data-driven learning); (3) using learner corpora. With regard to learner corpus research, for example, the paper also sketches out some prospects for future research, e.g. the compilation of local learner corpora.

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Introduction: the corpus revolution and English language teaching

There is general agreement among empirically-oriented linguists that the advent of large, computerised corpora has revolutionised the linguistic description and analysis of the English language. In modern corpus linguistics, not just any group of texts qualifies as a corpus, but it must be "a collection of texts assumed to be representative of a given language, dialect, or other subset of a language" (Francis 1982: 7). Representativeness is a key issue in corpus design because it captures the attempt to compile a database that provides a statistically viable sample of language use in general (or a relevant subsection thereof). In spite of various problems involved in putting the concept of representativeness into practice (cf. Biber 1993), it is only by assuming some sort of representativeness in corpus design that one can extrapolate from corpus findings general trends in language use (cf. Mukherjee 2004a). From its very beginnings, modern corpus linguistics has been…...

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