CorpusMOOC Weeks 6-7

These weeks are probably the most pertinent for this blog; they both focus on corpus linguistics influence and use in language learning.

In week 6, the influence of CL on materials development, such as dictionaries and textbooks was the main focus. The notion of a Lexical Syllabus was also introduced. LS is an approach that focuses on teaching the most frequent and widely used words; not only teaching them first, but teaching them deeply. In the lecture videos, this is described as a way of introducing learners “to a large amount of language, but not a large vocabulary”.

Week 7 discussed learner corpora and data-driven learning. As for learner corpora, both building and using them were discussed. Learner corpora can be used, for example, to identify common errors particular to a group of learners; in the lecture the example of Chinese learners of English and their difficulties with the article system in English were cited, but it is clear that this type of work could be applied to groups based not only on L1 or nationality, but age, educational system, geography, teaching approaches, etc., etc., etc.

DDL was only briefly discussed, I think, because it is expected that reading the literature about it would be clearer than trying to explain it in a lecture. I think that what DDL actually entails is best understood when there are examples or cases that be analyzed.

The practical activities of both weeks continued the CQPWeb activities.

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