Computer Learner Corpora, Second Language Acquisition and Foreign Language Teaching (Language Learning & Language Teaching)

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<ul><li><p>Computer Learner Corpora, Second Language Acquisitionand Foreign Language Teaching</p></li><li><p>Language Learning and Language Teaching</p><p>The LL&amp;LTmonograph series publishes monographs as well as edited volumeson applied and methodological issues in the field of language pedagogy. Thefocus of the series is on subjects such as classroom discourse and interaction;language diversity in educational settings; bilingual education; language testingand language assessment; teaching methods and teaching performance; learningtrajectories in second language acquisition; and written language learning ineducational settings.</p><p>Series editors</p><p>Birgit HarleyOntario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto</p><p>Jan H. HulstijnDepartment of Second Language Acquisition, University of Amsterdam</p><p>Volume 6</p><p>Computer Learner Corpora, Second Language Acquisition andForeign Language TeachingEdited by Sylviane Granger, Joseph Hung and Stephanie Petch-Tyson</p></li><li><p>Computer Learner Corpora,Second Language Acquisitionand Foreign Language Teaching</p><p>Edited by</p><p>Sylviane GrangerUniversit catholique de Louvain</p><p>Joseph HungChinese University of Hong Kong</p><p>Stephanie Petch-TysonUniversit catholique de Louvain</p><p>John Benjamins Publishing CompanyAmsterdam/Philadelphia</p></li><li><p>The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American8 TM National Standard for Information Sciences Permanence of Paper for PrintedLibrary Materials, ansi z39.48-1984.</p><p>Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data</p><p>Computer learner corpora, second language acquisition and foreign language teaching /edited by Sylviane Granger, Joseph Hung and Stephanie Petch-Tyson.</p><p>p. cm. (Language Learning and Language Teaching, issn 1569-9471 ; v. 6)Includes bibliographical references and index.</p><p>1. Language and languages--Computer-assisted instruction. 2. Second languageacquisition--Computer-assisted instruction. I. Granger, Sylviane, 1951- II. Hung,Joseph. III. Petch-Tyson, Stephanie. IV. Series.</p><p>P53.28.C6644 2002418.00285-dc21 2002027701isbn 90 272 1701 7 (Eur.) / 1 58811 293 4 (US) (Hb; alk. paper)isbn 90 272 1702 5 (Eur.) / 1 58811 294 2 (US) (Pb; alk. paper)</p><p> 2002 John Benjamins B.V.No part of this book may be reproduced in any form, by print, photoprint, microfilm, or anyother means, without written permission from the publisher.</p><p>John Benjamins Publishing Co. P.O. Box 36224 1020 me Amsterdam The NetherlandsJohn Benjamins North America P.O. Box 27519 Philadelphia pa 19118-0519 usa</p></li><li><p>AICR[v.20020404] Prn:30/09/2002; 14:08 F: LLLT6CO.tex / p.1 (v)</p><p>Table of contents</p><p>Preface vii</p><p>List of contributors ix</p><p>I. The role of computer learner corpora in SLA research and FLT</p><p>A Birds-eye view of learner corpus research 3Sylviane Granger</p><p>II. Corpus-based approaches to interlanguage</p><p>Using bilingual corpus evidence in learner corpus research 37Bengt Altenberg</p><p>Modality in advanced Swedish learners written interlanguage 55Karin Aijmer</p><p>A corpus-based study of the L2-acquisition of the English verb system 77Alex Housen</p><p>III. Corpus-based approaches to foreign language pedagogy</p><p>The pedagogical value of native and learner corpora in EFLgrammar teaching 119</p><p>Fanny Meunier</p><p>Learner corpora and language testing: smallwords as markers oflearner fluency 143</p><p>Angela Hasselgren</p></li><li><p>AICR[v.20020404] Prn:30/09/2002; 14:08 F: LLLT6CO.tex / p.2 (vi)</p><p> Table of contents</p><p>Business English: learner data from Belgium, Finland and the U.S. 175Ulla Connor, Kristen Precht and Thomas Upton</p><p>The TELEC secondary learner corpus: a resource for teacher development 195Quentin Grant Allan</p><p>Pedagogy and local learner corpora: working with learning-driven data 213Barbara Seidlhofer</p><p>Author index 235</p><p>Subject index 241</p></li><li><p>AICR[v.20020404] Prn:30/09/2002; 14:10 F: LLLT6PR.tex / p.1 (vii)</p><p>Preface</p><p>Computer learner corpora are electronic collections of spoken or written textsproduced by foreign or second language learners in a variety of language set-tings. Once computerised, these data can be analysed with linguistic softwaretools, from simple ones, which search, count and display, to the most advancedones, which provide sophisticated analyses of the data.</p><p>Interest in computer learner corpora is growing fast, amidst increasingrecognition of their theoretical and practical value, and a number of these cor-pora, representing a range of mediums and genres and of varying sizes, eitherhave been or are currently being compiled. This volume takes stock of currentresearch into computer learner corpora conducted both by ELT and SLA spe-cialists and should be of particular interest to researchers looking to assess itsrelevance to SLA theory and ELT practice. Throughout the volume, emphasisis also placed on practical, methodological aspects of computer learner cor-pus research, in particular the contribution of technology to the research pro-cess. The advantages and disadvantages of automated and semi-automated ap-proaches are analysed, the capabilities of linguistic software tools investigated,the corpora (and compilation processes) described in detail. In this way, an im-portant function of the volume is to give practical insight to researchers whomay be considering compiling a corpus of learner data or embarking on learnercorpus research.</p><p>Impetus for the book came from the International Symposium on ComputerLearner Corpora, Second Language Acquisition and Foreign Language Teach-ing organised by Joseph Hung and Sylviane Granger at the Chinese Univer-sity of Hong Kong in 1998. The volume is not a proceedings volume however,but a collection of articles which focus specifically on the interrelationshipsbetween computer learner corpora, second language acquisition and foreignlanguage teaching.</p><p>The volume is divided into three sections:The first section by Granger provides a general overview of learner cor-</p><p>pus research and situates learner corpora within Second Language Acquisitionstudies and Foreign Language Teaching.</p></li><li><p>AICR[v.20020404] Prn:30/09/2002; 14:10 F: LLLT6PR.tex / p.2 (viii)</p><p> Preface</p><p>The three chapters in the second section illustrate a range of corpus-basedapproaches to interlanguage analysis. The first chapter by Altenberg illustrateshow contrastive analysis, an approach to learner language whose validity hasvery much been challenged over the years, has now been reinterpreted within alearner corpus perspective and can offer valuable insights into transfer-relatedlanguage phenomena. The following two studies, one cross-sectional by Aijmerand the other longitudinal by Housen, demonstrate the power of learner cor-pus data to uncover features of interlanguage grammar.</p><p>The chapters in the third section demonstrate the direct pedagogical rele-vance of learner corpus work. In the first chapter, Meunier analyses the currentand potential contribution of native and learner corpora to the field of gram-mar teaching. In the following chapter, Hasselgrens analysis of a corpus of spo-ken learner language is an attempt to put measurable parameters on the noto-riously difficult to define notion of fluency, with the ultimate aim of introduc-ing increased objectivity into evaluating fluency within testing procedures. Intheir study of job applications, Connor, Precht and Upton argue for the valueof genre-specific corpora in understanding more about learner language use,and demonstrate how a learner-corpus based approach to the ESP field can beused to refine current approaches to ESP pedagogy. The last two chapters showhow the use of learner corpus data can lead to the development of new teachingand learning tools (Allan) and classroom methodologies (Seidlhofer).</p><p>Finally, we would like to express our gratitude to the acquisition editor,Kees Vaes, for his continuing support and encouragement and the two se-ries editors, Jan Hulstijn and Birgit Harley, for their insightful comments onpreliminary versions of the volume. We would also like to express our grati-tude to all the authors who have contributed to the volume for their patientwait for the volume to appear and their ever-willingness to effect the changesasked of them.</p><p>Sylviane Granger, Joseph Hung and Stephanie Petch-TysonLouvain-la-Neuve and Hong Kong</p><p>January 2002</p></li><li><p>AICR[v.20020404] Prn:30/09/2002; 14:08 F: LLLT6LI.tex / p.1 (ix)</p><p>List of contributors</p><p>Quentin Grant AllanUniversity of Hong Kong, China</p><p>Karin AijmerGteborg University, Sweden</p><p>Bengt AltenbergLund University, Sweden</p><p>Ulla ConnorIndiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, USA</p><p>Sylviane GrangerUniversit catholique de Louvain, Belgium</p><p>Angela HasselgrenUniversity of Bergen, Norway</p><p>Alex HousenVrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium</p><p>Kristen PrechtNorthern Arizona University, USA</p><p>Fanny MeunierUniversit catholique de Louvain, Belgium</p><p>Barbara SeidlhoferUniversity of Vienna, Austria</p><p>Thomas UptonIndiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, USA</p></li><li><p>AICR[v.20020404] Prn:30/09/2002; 14:09 F: LLLT6P1.tex / p.1 (1)</p><p>I. The role of computer learner corporain SLA research and FLT</p></li><li><p>A Birds-eye view of learner corpus research</p><p>Sylviane GrangerUniversit catholique de Louvain, Belgium</p><p>Chapter overview</p><p>This chapter is intended to provide a practical, comprehensive overview oflearner corpus research. Granger first situates learner corpus research in re-lation to SLA and ELT research then goes on to discuss corpus compilation,highlighting the importance of establishing clear design criteria, which sheargues should always bear a close relation to a particular research objective.Then follows a detailed discussion of methodologies commonly associatedwith computer learner corpus (CLC) research: comparisons between nativeand L2 learners of a language and between different types of L2 learners ofa language. She also introduces the different types of linguistic analyses whichcan be used to effect these comparisons. In particular she demonstrates thepower of text retrieval software in accessing new descriptions of L2 language.Section 6 provides an overview of the most useful types of corpus annotation,including entirely automatic (such as part-of-speech tagging) and computer-aided (such as error tagging) techniques and gives examples of the types ofresults that can be obtained. Section 7 is given over to a discussion of the useof CLC in pedagogical research, curriculum and materials design and class-room methodology. Here Granger highlights the great benefits that are to behad from incorporating information from CLC into, inter alia, learners dic-tionaries, CALL programs and web-based teaching. In the concluding sectionof her article, Granger calls for a greater degree of interdisciplinarity in CLCresearch, arguing that the greatest research benefits are to be gained by creat-ing interdisciplinary research teams of SLA, FLT and NLP researchers, each ofwhom brings particular expertise.</p></li><li><p> Sylviane Granger</p><p>. Corpus linguistics</p><p>The area of linguistic enquiry known as learner corpus research, which has onlyexisted since the late 1980s, has created an important link between the twopreviously disparate fields of corpus linguistics and foreign/second languageresearch. Using the main principles, tools and methods from corpus linguistics,it aims to provide improved descriptions of learner language which can be usedfor a wide range of purposes in foreign/second language acquisition researchand also to improve foreign language teaching.</p><p>Corpus linguistics can best be defined as a linguistic methodology whichis founded on the use of electronic collections of naturally occurring texts, viz.corpora. It is neither a new branch of linguistics nor a new theory of language,but the very nature of the evidence it uses makes it a particularly powerfulmethodology, one which has the potential to change perspectives on language.For Leech (1992:106) it is a new research enterprise, [. . . ] a new philosophicalapproach to the subject, [. . . ] an open sesame to a new way of thinking aboutlanguage. The power of computer software tools combined with the impres-sive amount and diversity of the language data used as evidence has revealedand will continue to reveal previously unsuspected linguistic phenomena. ForStubbs (1996:232) the heuristic power of corpus methods is no longer indoubt. Corpus linguistics has contributed to the discovery of new facts whichhave led to far-reaching new hypotheses about language, for example aboutthe co-selection of lexis and syntax.</p><p>Although corpora are but one source of evidence among many, com-plementing rather than replacing other data sources such as introspectionand elicitation, there is general agreement today that they are the only reli-able source of evidence for such features as frequency (McEnery &amp; Wilson1996:12). Frequency is an aspect of language of which we have very little intu-itive awareness but one that plays a major part in many linguistic applicationswhich require a knowledge not only of what is possible in language but what islikely to occur. The major obvious strength of the computer corpus methodol-ogy lies in its suitability for conducting quantitative analyses. The type of in-sights this approach can bring are highlighted in the work of researchers suchas Biber (1988), who demonstrates how using corpus-based techniques in thestudy of language variation can help bring out the distinctive patterns of distri-bution of each variety. Conducting quantitative comparisons of a wide rangeof linguistic features in corpora representing different varieties of language,he shows how different features cluster together in distinctive distributionalpatterns, effectively creating different text types.</p></li><li><p>A Birds-eye view of learner corpus research </p><p>Corpus-based studies conducted over the last twenty or so years have led tomuch better descriptions of many of the different registers1 (informal conver-sation, formal speech, journalese, academic writing, sports reporting, etc.) anddialects of native English (British English vs American English; male vs femalelanguage, etc.). However, investigations of non-native varieties have been a rel-atively recent departure: it was not until the late 1980s and early 1990s that aca-demics and publishers started collecting corpora of non-native English, whichhave come to be referred to as learner corpora.</p><p>. Learner data in SLA and FLT research</p><p>Learner corpora provide a new type of data which can inform thinking bothin SLA (Second Language Acquisition) research, which tries to understand themechanisms of foreign/second language acquisition, and in FLT (Foreign Lan-guage Teaching) research, the aim of which is to improve the learning andteaching of foreign/second languages.</p><p>SLA research has traditionally drawn on a variety of data types, amongwhich Ellis (1994:670) distinguishes three major categories: language use data,metalingual judgements and self-report data (see Figure 1). Much current SLAresearch favours experimental and introspective data and tends to be dismissiveof natural language use data. There are several reasons for this, prime among</p><p>Data types</p><p>Language usecomprehension</p><p>&amp;production</p><p>Natural</p><p>Elicited</p><p>Clinical</p><p>ExperimentalMetalingualjudgeme...</p></li></ul>