Hi, my name is Michael Brown. I’m an English lecturer based in Japan. This site is meant to be a collection of thoughts, ideas, and resources regarding English teaching and corpus linguistics. There will be other topics, too, about both education and linguistics; besides corpus linguistics, I have some experience with open education and ecolinguistics. I can be reached on Twitter @Za_Maikeru.

My academic profiles – my publications are accessible via at least one of these links (Academia is usually the first to get updated):


Google Scholar



5 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello, Michael. Thanks for your very useful posts. I’ve just discovered them while looking for info on how to have my Intro to Linguistics students (fall 2017 semester) actually do some minimal corpus collection and analysis. I will try SkELL. If you have other suggestions, I’m all ears. My initial thought was to be quite elementary, maybe to have them create a corpus of their own writings and then do some analysis. Perhaps there are other tools/apps to help them get their feet wet. I teach Spanish at a college in Pennsylvania, and am not a specialist in linguistics. OK–thanks again! Jeff

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jeff,

      I’m sorry for taking so long to reply. Indefensible.

      But thanks so much for commenting.

      A really simple way to introduce corpora is to have students use their intuition about some “question”, and then ask them to prove it. How do they prove it? With a corpus.

      For example, a simple intuition-based question might be “Which expression do you think is said more often: ‘red apple(s)’ or ‘green apple(s)’?”

      Although initially some students might leap to ‘red apples’, most students (I’ve found) quickly intuit that ‘green apples’ is more common because people DON’T need to say ‘red’ when describing an apple (red is the color of the default proto-apple in the mind).

      Then, “Can you prove it?” Here’s where a simple corpus search can be run.

      In the COCA corpus, simply have students search “red apple*” and “green apple*”. The ‘green’ search will have more hits. Dig a little deeper and look at the concordance lines, and the students can see that many of the ‘red’ hits are actually proper nouns like names of grocery stores. Describing actual apples as ‘red’ is not common at all, and thus the corpus has justified the students intuitions 🙂

      That’s a quick way to introduce a corpus and show ONE of the things it can be used for: confirming intuitions about language use.

      After that they can learn to do more interesting things like, as you suggested, building their own corpus and seeing what words/expressions they use/overuse/underuse etc.

      AntConc can handle Spanish writing, if that’s your plan 🙂


  2. Hi Michael,

    My name is Anuj Agarwal. I’m Founder of Feedspot.

    I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog Corpus Linguistics 4 EFL has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 100 ESL Blogs on the web.


    I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 100 ESL Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!

    Also, you have the honor of displaying the badge on your blog.


    Liked by 1 person

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