[Corpora-List] Corpora and EAP

Daniel Lees Fryer dlfryer
Mon Apr 6 14:34:20 CEST 2009

[[Apologies for cross-postings]]

Dear Corpora-List members,

I'm currently designing a short introductory course in corpus linguistics for non-linguists, in the context of an English for academic purposes (EAP) module for PhD students and researchers in Norway---something along the lines of Lee & Swales (2006). Basically, the intention of the course is to introduce NNS researchers to some relatively simple corpus analysis techniques, in order to allow them to compile and explore their own discipline-specific corpora. The course will be run as a supplement to ongoing EAP courses offered to researchers from a variety of academic backgrounds, e.g., health sciences, engineering, sociology.

I'm keen to learn how other corpus linguists and EAP practitioners have used corpora in the classroom, and would very much appreciate hearing your experiences---what worked, what didn't, what might work, etc.---whether in the more "traditional" sense of concordancing in large general corpora, or using other corpus analysis techniques (e.g., keyword comparisons) in connection with smaller, more specialized, particularly learner-compiled corpora.

Some of the issues I'm concerned about are as follows, and your comments on any of these points (or indeed any I may have missed) would be very much appreciated:

- identifying learners' needs - the extent to which corpus analysis and EAP can/should address these needs, particularly the perceived need for improved knowledge of discipline-specific terms/phrases - the level of interest/technical competency necessary for exploring language through such a corpus linguistics approach - designing and implementing a course in light of these needs and interests - measuring potential learning outcomes - evaluating the quality, size, and relevance of learner-compiled corpora - comparing large general corpora (which ones---preferably freely available?) with smaller specialized corpora

Thanks in advance

Best wishes,

Daniel Fryer

References: Lee, D. & Swales, J. M. (2006). A corpus-based EAP course for NNS doctoral students: moving from available specialized corpora to self-compiled corpora. English for Specific Purposes, 25, 56?75.

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