Corpus Linguistics and Language Learning

Module code: ED7706

This module provides an introduction to corpus-based approaches to exploring language. A corpus (plural form: corpora) is a computerized collection of texts, sampled so as to represent one or more varieties of a language – e.g. spoken American English in the 2020s, or English in contemporary science textbooks. Corpora have revolutionized applied linguistics, and in turn language teaching, by providing a unique window on the ways that language features are used differently in different kinds of text (e.g. spoken conversation vs. academic writing) and by speakers from different backgrounds (e.g. L2 versus L1 speakers of English). Corpus approaches are now feeding into classrooms, as students become language ‘detectives’, discovering patterns in language use by themselves. Through weekly hands-on workshops, you will have the opportunity to explore different kinds of corpora and software, and assess their strengths and weaknesses for a range of research questions and teaching applications. 

Topics covered

  • Introduction to corpus linguistics
  • Considerations in corpus design
  • Combining words: collocations and phraseology
  • Adding information to a corpus with annotation
  • Using corpora to explore contemporary language change 
  • Compiling and analysing your own corpus
  • Using corpora for language learning and teaching
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