Corpus consultation training in a pre-sessional course: Lessons for online data-driven learning

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There is a growing body of literature that investigates the application and effectiveness of direct corpus consultation in language teaching and learning in the form of data-driven learning (DDL) classroom activities and workshops (Bridle, 2018; Charles, 2018; Chen & Flowerdew, 2018; Flowerdew, 2015). Although several studies have established the benefits and effectiveness of DDL (e.g. Boulton & Cobb, 2017), direct corpus consultation has not yet become part of widely-used teaching practices (Gilquin & Granger, 2010; Mizumoto & Chujo, 2016) partly because of perceived technological complexities. The present paper reports on a study conducted at the pre-sessional course of a UK university. The aim of the study was to investigate the perceived ease of use and usefulness of corpus consultation for academic writing purposes. Students (N=32) were given two 1.5-hour workshops with tasks designed to demonstrate learners how they can autonomously consult an online, freely available corpus analysis tool: Students gave feedback immediately after the workshops in the form of a short questionnaire with Likert scale items and an open-ended question about the ease of use and the usefulness of corpora. Preliminary findings suggest that students found the corpus useful and they did not perceive the corpus analysis tool difficult to use which is in contrast to findings of many of the previous studies where the majority of students found direct corpus consultation complex and difficult (e.g. Jablonkai & Cebron, 2017).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2019
EventBAAL Language Learning and Teaching SIG: Language Learning and Teaching in Different Contexts - University of Bath, Bath, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 28 Jun 201929 Jun 2019
Conference number: 15


ConferenceBAAL Language Learning and Teaching SIG
Abbreviated titleBAAL LLT SIG
Country/TerritoryUK United Kingdom
Internet address


  • data-driven learning, corpus-based language teaching


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