Volume 21 Number 3, October 2017 Special Issue on Corpora in Language Learning and Teaching

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    Corpora in language learning and teaching
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2017-10-01) Vyatkina, Nina ; Boulton, Alex
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    Call for papers
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2017-10-08) LLT Staff
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    Announcements
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2017-10-07) LLT Staff
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    Using corpora to develop learners’ collocational competence
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2017-10-01) Li, Shuangling
    This article investigates the role of direct corpus use in learners’ collocational competence in academic writing. An experiment was conducted between two groups of Chinese postgraduates who had no previous knowledge of corpora. It was embedded in a regular 4-month linguistics course in the students’ programmes, where a corpus-assisted method was used for the experimental group and a traditional, or rule-based, method was used for the control group. The English essays written by these two groups of learners from different time periods (before, immediately after, and two months after the course) were analysed regarding the learners’ collocational use—in particular, verb-preposition collocations. The results reveal that while both groups showed improvements in their academic writing, the students in the experimental group displayed a significant improvement in the use of collocations, including a higher rate of accuracy, or naturalness, and an increased use of academic collocations and fixed phraseological items. It is thus concluded that the knowledge and use of corpora can help students raise their awareness of habitual collocational use and develop their collocational competence. This supports the positive role of direct corpus application in an EFL context.
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    Training teachers in data driven learning: Tackling the challenge
    (University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center, 2017-10-01) Leńko-Szymańska, Agnieszka
    The aim of this article is to assess the effectiveness of a semester-long pre-service teacher-training course on the use of corpora in language learning and teaching. This is achieved by an analysis of 53 corpus-based projects prepared by the participants. First, the aims and the design of the course are briefly presented. The main section of the article examines the trainees’ projects, which involved compiling small English for specific purposes corpora, analysing them and preparing corpus-based lessons. Specifically, the topics of the projects, the corpora that the participants built, the types of the analyses conducted, and the corpus-informed and corpus-based activities created by the trainees are examined both quantitatively and qualitatively. The projects’ outcomes reveal that the competencies developed by the pre-service teachers during the course were not sufficient. The participants seemed to have mastered only the basic technical skills of manipulating corpora, and they lacked autonomy in corpus-linguistic skills and pedagogical skills which were necessary for successful exploitations of corpora in language education. This observation—supported by earlier research—calls for the development and empirical validation of a model of effective teacher training in corpus-informed and corpus-based instruction.