Sunday, April 5, 2009

Posting 5:Concordence

Article 1 (by: John Flowerdew) Concordancing is a means of accessing a corpus of text to show how any given word or phrase in the text is used in the immediate contexts in which it appears. By grouping the uses of a particular word or phrase on the computer screen or in printed form, the concordancer shows the patterns in which the given word or phrase is typically used. Concordancing has a variety of applications. One of the earliest of these was in the field of lexicography and dictionary making. This work has resulted in the Collins Cobuild dictionary, in which the entries make use of authentic concordanced examples. Concordancing has also been used in the field of stylistics and literary research, as well as in purely linguistic research. Typically, these applications depend upon large corpora of text which in many cases run to millions of words. This paper will not concern itself with these areas, but will focus on the application of concordancing in language learning, where smaller corpora can be employed, with particular emphasis on classroom teaching, learning, and curriculum design. In addition to use by classroom teachers and by learners, a number of other concordancing applications related to various aspects of curriculum development have been made. One such application is in syllabus design. In line with ideas set out by Sinclair and Renouf (1988), Willis and Willis (1988) have developed a complete general English syllabus and set of course books based on concordancing. Another area of the curriculum where it has been suggested concordancing can play a role is that of testing. Butler ( 1991) has promoted the idea of cloze tests based not on complete texts but on single line concordances. Each question in such a test would consist of a number of concordance lines with the same word deleted. A further application of concordancing is in the field of error analysis, or interlanguage studies. Concordances based on corpora of learner data can reveal the typical features of learner language from different language backgrounds and at different stages of linguistic development. Article 2 (by: Elke st.John)Concordancing is a tool that has been used extensively by linguistic and literary researchers. A concordance is a list of the occurrences of either a particular word, or a part of a word or a combination of words in context and it is drawn from a text corpus, which is presented in context. A corpus is a large body of text often in electronic format. Linguistic and applied linguistic researchers are not the only group who can benefit from the use of concordancing as a tool for language learning (i.e., as a means of exploring the meanings and uses of words in their authentic contexts. A concordance program enables research into the lexical, syntactic, semantic, and stylistic patterns of a language. Concordancer and monolingual text corpora (comprising only one language) have already been employed by both the language teacher and learner in classroom exercises. Typical exercises using a monolingual English corpus have included vocabulary building and the exploration of the grammatical and discourse features of texts. Besides that, in a well-known quote, Johns advocates the DDL (Data Driven Language) approach. The advantage of this approach is that, in a classroom situation, it enables the teacher to play a less active role whilst at the same time exposes the student to authentic texts like those found in a monolingual corpus. What distinguishes the DDL approach is the attempt to cut out the middleman as much as possible and give direct access to the data so that the learner can take part in building his or her own profiles of meanings and uses. The assumption that underlies this approach is that effective language learning is itself a form of linguistic research, and that the concordance printout offers a unique resource for the stimulation of inductive learning strategies -- in particular, the strategies of perceiving similarities and differences and of hypothesis formation and testing. REFLECTIONS: The benefits of concordance will enable learners to be truly autonomous and responsible for their own learning because searches are learner-initiated that it can be guaranteed the learning corresponds to learner needs. Also, by searching into language use, learners able to develop an overall language awareness. Besides that, in using the concordance as a source of input for teaching, teachers can generate authentic instances of usage to present to students when teaching a particular language point. In addition, the students will become more aware of a need for data, information about how the language is used. Such awareness may arise from a more communicative task such as writing a report, language-oriented exercise, vocabulary or grammar exercise and others. URL:

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