Lee and Swales (2006) suggest that using corpus analysis activities in the classroom provides students with pragmatic tools they can use to identify patterns of language use without relying on native-speaker expertise. In addition, subsequent research on the use of corpus analysis, or data driven learning (DDL) (Boulton & Cobb, 2017), demonstrates that substantial benefits accrue to students who work with corpora (Bridle, 2019; Charles, 2012; 2014). However, the complexity of existing corpus analysis technologies may deter instructors from implementing existing corpora (e.g. COCA) or corpus toolkits (e.g. AntConc) which may require significant time investments to learn and transform into effective pedagogy.
This article describes an easy, innovative approach to harnessing the benefits of corpus analysis using technology with which teachers and students are already familiar. Continue Reading →
Technology is at the heart of everything we do on a daily basis. At the click of a button, we can have an encyclopedia, map, clock, calculator, or mailbox. Technology has in fact rewired our brains; we are no longer as capable of deeply engaging with long pieces of prose (Carr 2008). It is astounding that with the literal rewiring of the way we read, think, and learn, schools have still not caught up to the technological age. This has negative consequences for L2 learners, as many do not have much experience with computers, and they are barred from learning authentic, technology-based communication used in workplace settings. However, we can easily change outdated teaching methods to suit the technological era with adequate teacher training, Continue Reading →
Learning English as a Second Language comes with its usual predicaments and involves a lot of effort, systematic study, mentoring, and use of technology. It just adds another layer of complexity when a learner has vision impairment or any other learning difficulty or limitations. In Canada, it is not unusual that people with visual impairment are learning English in schools specially equipped for them where they are provided with a set of arrangements catering their needs. In most of the cases, the learners use braille and get help from specially trained instructors. But learning English in a mainstream program like English for Academic Purposes is not that common in public colleges where there is little or no special infrastructure for a blind student. Continue Reading →
No-one will dispute that language learning is to a large extent a matter of mastering myriads of words and phrases and that it therefore relies heavily on memory. Many pedagogy- minded applied linguists concur that a word or phrase is more likely to be remembered if the learner consciously “engages” with it in one way or another (Schmitt, 2008). This, then, raises the question of what kinds of cognitive engagement with lexical items are relatively fruitful, and how teachers (or materials writers) can prompt students to give these a try. This article considers a handful of proposals for stimulating engagement with words and phrases that are in broad agreement with a school of thought known as Cognitive Linguistics.
Cognitive Linguistics (CL) emerged in the 1980s as an alternative to the then dominant Chomskyan-style descriptions of language, Continue Reading →