Workshop & Lecture by Steven Thorne & Scott Payne, April 28, 2006

Workshop: A Practical Introduction to the Use of Corpora

Lecture: Corpus Linguistics and Language Development: Research, Assessment, and Pedagogical Innovation

Steven Thorne, Assistant Professor, Department of Linguistics and Applied Languages Studies, The Pennsylvania State Univeristy, Pennsylvania
Scott Payne, Assistant Director, Center for Language Acquisition for Technology and Research, The Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania

WORKSHOP: In this interactive workshop that will include a hands-on component, we will present practical and technical information regarding the use of corpus tools and methodologies in L2 teaching and research. Issues to be discussed include: Corpus design and construction, data-driven materials development, the role of metadata and data coding, overview of different corpus tools, and hands-on experience with two Web-based corpus environments.

LECTURE: Corpus linguistic approaches support the investigation of grammatical, lexical, and communicative-pragmatic functions of actual or ‘lived’ language and have been used to produce usage-based grammars, dictionaries, and to carry out analyses of genre- specific communication. While the predominant focus has been synchronic analyses of English expert-speaker usage, an increasing number of second/foreign language researchers are employing corpus analytic tools and techniques. The relatively new enterprise of learner corpus analysis (LCA) involves the examination of language produced by learners in instructional contexts. We will outline the methodological and internal validity considerations for the construction of diachronic learner corpora, report on our research on the uses of LCA to generate developmental analyses of L2 learners, and discuss Web-based tools that support LCA and data-driven learning. We will describe applications of learner corpus analysis to individual and group assessment using data from learners of English (ESL), French, Russian, and Spanish. Additionally, the implications for the use of corpus in contemporary and future second language research, assessment, and pedagogy will be discussed.

Friday, April 28, 2006
Workshop: 1:30-3:00pm, B21 Dwinelle Hall
Lecture: 4:00-5:00pm, 370 Dwinelle Hall