#TESOL2017 – Corpus related talks and posters

While IATEFL2017 may well have the razzledazzle, TESOL2017 is the big kahuna. Find below corpus related talks and posters (program pdf). There are some well known names here – Kiyomi Chujo, Randi Reppen, Diane Schmitt, Dilin Liu, Keith Folse.

Do TESOL record talks like IATEFL? Otherwise am putting faith in some tweeters to get inkling of what goes down. You know what to do folks.

Tuesday 21 March
Developing Academic Discourse Competence Through Formulaic Sequences
Content Area: Vocabulary/Lexicon
The Academic Formulas List and Phrasal Expressions List include formulaic sequences that build on traditional lists, such as the Academic Word List, to better meet student proficiency needs at the discourse level. Participants investigate the lists; experience collaborative activities designed to assist students in acquisition, including online and corpus-based; and discuss considerations for adaptation and implementation. Step-by-step guides provided.
Alissa Nostas, Arizona State University, USA
Mariah Fairley, American University in Cairo, Egypt
Susanne Rizzo, American University in Cairo, USA

Wednesday 22 March
Engaging Students in Making Grammar Choices: An In‑Depth Approach
Content Area: Grammar
Appropriate use of grammar structures in academic writing can be a challenge even for advanced ESL writers. Drawing on corpus research on the characteristics of written discourse, the presenters demonstrate how to engage students in making effective grammar choices to improve their academic writing. Sample instructional materials are provided.
Wendy Wang, Eastern Michigan University, USA
Susan Ruellan, Eastern Michigan University, USA

Lexical Bundles in L1 and L2 University Student Argumentative Essays
Content Area: Second Language Writing/Composition
This presentation reports findings of a corpus-based analysis of the use, overuse, and misuse of lexical bundles in L2 university student argumentative essays. The presentation also provides ways ESL composition instructors can assist learners in using lexical bundles more appropriately.
Tetyana Bychkovska, Ohio University, USA

Teachers’ U.S. Corpus
Content Area: Research/Research Methodology
The presenters amassed a linguistic corpus-TUSC-representing approximately 4 million words based on over 50 K–12 content area textbooks. Findings of the corpus, including word lists representative of academic language, are offered. Participants are invited to discuss ways this corpus may assist K–12 teachers, especially teachers of ELLs.
Seyedjafar Ehsanzadehsorati, Florida International University, USA

And Furthermore
Content Area: Discourse and Pragmatics
Advanced learner materials offer few guidelines for the use of the expressions “moreover,” “furthermore,” “in fact,” “likewise,” “in turn,” and other additive connectors. Grounded in pragmatic theory and drawing on written corpus examples and experimental speaker judgement data, this talk defines optimal uses and paves a path to enlightened class instruction.
Howard Williams, Teachers College, Columbia University, USA

Teacher Electronic Feedback in ESL Writing Course Chats
Content Area: Second Language Writing/Composition
This corpus-based study analyzes the rhetorical moves, uptake, and student perceptions of the teacher-student chats from five freshman ESL writing courses taught by three expert teachers. Findings show that chats are useful for establishing rapport and clarifying feedback, but we suggest that longer chat sessions may be more effective.
Estela Ene, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, USA
Thomas Upton, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, USA

Using Corpus Linguistics in Teaching ESL Writing
Content Area: Applied Linguistics
This session explores the use of corpus linguistics in teaching L2 writing as an effective way to bring authentic language into the classroom. The presenters discuss ways of incorporating corpora in teaching L2 writing and demonstrate a sample activity of how to use a corpus to address discourse competence.
Gusztav Demeter, Case Western Reserve University, USA
Ana Codita, Case Western Reserve Universtiy, USA
Hee-Seung Kang, Case Western Reserve University, USA

How Technology Shapes Our Language and Feedback: Mode Matters
Content Area: Applied Linguistics
This presentation explores how the use of evaluative language differs between parallel corpora of text and screencast feedback and what this means for the role of feedback and position of instructor. In understanding the implications of technology choices, instructors can better match tools to their pedagogical purposes
Kelly Cunningham, Iowa State University, USA

An Effective Bilingual Sentence Corpus for Low-Proficiency EFL Learners
Content Area: CALL/Computer-Assisted Language Learning/
Technology in Education
Kiyomi Chujo, Nihon University, Japan

Propositional Precision in Learner Corpora: Turkish and Greek EFL Learners
Content Area: English as a Foreign Language
Jülide Inözü, Cukurova University, Turkey
Cem Can, Cukurova University, Turkey

Thursday 23 March
Corpus‑Based Learning of Reporting Verbs in L2 Academic Writing
Content Area: Higher Education
We present findings from our study on the effectiveness of corpus based learning of reporting verbs during a multidraft literature review assignment. The results suggest corpus-based instruction can improve L2 students’ genre awareness and lexical variety without time consuming training. Participants receive sample corpus-based teaching
materials used in the revision workshop.
Ji-young Shin, Purdue University, USA
R. Scott Partridge, Purdue University, USA
Ashley J. Velázquez, Purdue University, USA
Aleksandra Swatek, Purdue University, USA
Shelley Staples, University of Arizona, USA

Providing EAP Listening Input: An Evaluation of Recorded Listening Passages
Content Area: Listening, Speaking/Speech
Are the recorded passages that accompany listening textbooks providing students with exposure to all the necessary elements of academic lecture language? The presenter shares results of a corpusbased study, illustrating what recorded passages do well, where they fall short, and providing activities designed to supplement EAP listening instruction.
Erin Schnur, Northern Arizona University, USA

Developing Learner Resources Using Corpus Linguistics
Randi Reppen, Northern Arizona University, USA

Applying Research Findings to L2 Writing Instruction
Content Area: Second Language Writing/Composition
Effective pedagogical practices have a strong research base and respond directly to students’ learning needs. Presenters share materials developed for such needs in EAP writing classrooms, drawing on grammar/vocabulary corpus research, integration of CBI principles with current L2 writing approaches, and research findings regarding assignment sequencing for larger end-products.
Margi Wald, UC Berkeley, USA
Jan Frodesen, UC Santa Barbara, USA
Diane Schmitt, Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom (Great Britain)
Gena Bennett, Independent, USA

Teaching Students Self‑Editing in Writing With Interactive Online Corpus Tool
Content Area: CALL/Computer-Assisted Language Learning/
Technology in Education
L2 academic writers often struggle with word choice and collocates when composing in academic English. In this teaching tip, the presenter uses http://www.wordandphrase.info, a free corpus-based online interactive tool, to show how to teach self-editing strategies to L2 writers and demonstrates activities that can be incorporated into EAP writing courses.
Aleksandra Swatek, Purdue University, USA

Corpus 101: Navigating the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA)
Content Area: Vocabulary/Lexicon
The Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) may look overwhelming at first, but it is in fact an easy-to-use resource. Presenters guide participants through step-by-step navigation of this valuable tool, sharing tips and ideas for teachers and tasks for students that relate to several of COCA’s search and analysis functions.
Heather Gregg Zitlau, Georgetown University, USA
Heather Weger, Georgetown University, USA
Kelly Hill Zirker, Diplomatic Language Services, USA

Using a Medical Research Corpus to Teach ESP Students
Content Area: English for Specific Purposes
The study discussed investigated how expert writers use lexical bundles in medical research articles. More than 200 bundles were identified using a corpus of more than 1 million words. A structural and functional analysis revealed patterns that can be used in developing materials for medical students in international ESP classes.
Ndeye Bineta Mbodj, Health Department Thies University, Senegal

Using Corpora for Engaging Language Teaching: Effective Techniques and Activities
Using concrete examples from their new book published by TESOL, the presenters introduce some common useful procedures and activities for using corpora to teach various aspects of English, including vocabulary, grammar, and writing. They also explain how to develop and use corpora to assess learner language and develop teaching materials.
Dilin Liu, University of Alabama, USA
Lei Lei, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China

Flexible, Free, and Open Data‑Driven Learning for the Masses
Content Area: Media (Print, Broadcast, Video, and Digital)
This presentation shares findings from multisite research with the open-source FLAX (Flexible Language Acquisition) project. Open digital collections used in formal classroom-based language education and in non-formal online education (MOOCs) are presented to demonstrate how openly licensed linguistic content using data-driven methods can support learning, teaching, and materials development.
Alannah Fitzgerald, Concordia University, USA

Visualizing Vocabulary Across Cultures: Web Images as a Corpus
Content Area: Vocabulary/Lexicon
Cameron Romney, Doshisha University, Japan
John Campbell-Larsen, Kyoto Women’s University, Japan

Developing Autonomous Academic Writing Competence Through Corpus Linguistics
Content Area: CALL/Computer-Assisted Language Learning/
Technology in Education
Chinger Zapata, Universidad Católica del Norte, Chile
Hugo Keith

Data-Driven Learning (DDL) for Teaching Vocabulary and Grammar
Content Area: Teaching Methodology and Strategy
Pramod Sah, University of British Columbia, Canada
Anu Upadhaya, Tribhuvan University, Nepal

Friday 24 March
16 Keys to Teaching ESL Grammar and Vocabulary
Content Area: Grammar
This session uses corpus linguistics data to examine not only which grammar points should be taught but which vocabulary should be taught with each key grammar point. Sample lessons for teaching vocabulary with grammar and tips for designing and teaching these activities are presented.
Keith Folse, University of Central Florida, USA

Beyond Word Lists: Approaching Verbal Complements Lexicogrammatically and Cognitively
Content Area: Grammar
Gerund and infinitive verbal complements are often taught back-to-back via the use of memorization and word lists. This presentation suggests varying lesson placement, approaching the subject from a position of conceptualization of components drawn from Conti’s rule, and incorporating corpus data in classroom materials to improve salience thereof.
Miranda Hartley, University of Alabama, USA

Corpus‑Based Comparison Between Two Lists of Academic English Words
Content Area: Vocabulary/Lexicon
The study discussed compares Coxhead’s Academic Word List and Gardner and Davies’ Academic Vocabulary List in an independently developed 72-million-token university academic corpus to reveal which list is more suitable for academic vocabulary education across different academic disciplines to improve the effectiveness of English‑medium instruction.
Huamin Qi, Western University, Canada

Fostering Effective Participation in L1 Discourse Communities Through Formulaic Sequences
Content Area: Vocabulary/Lexicon
While vocabulary lists contribute substantially to lexical knowledge, discourse-level proficiency remains a challenge. The Academic Formulas List and Phrasal Expressions List, sets of formulaic sequences, address this challenge, helping learners participate more effectively in L1 discourse communities. Facilitators share online and corpus-based activities for formulaic sequence acquisition.
Susanne Rizzo, American University in Cairo, Egypt
Alissa Nostas, Arizona State University, USA
Mariah Fairley, American University in Cairo, Egypt

Developing an Open Educational Resources EAP Corpus
Content Area: English for Specific Purposes
This presentation focuses on the development of an open educational resources EAP corpus. Presenters demonstrate how the corpus can be accessed and downloaded, reused in a variety of ways, revised, remixed, and redistributed to other interested teachers, researchers, and/or students.
Brent Green, Salt Lake Community College, USA
Dean Huber, Salt Lake Community College, USA
George Ellington, Salt Lake Community College, USA

The Emergence of Academic Language Among Advanced Learners
Content Area: Second Language Writing/Composition
This session addresses the gradual changes of academic language based on a pilot study of 35 students over a 16-week graduate course. Suggestions and practical activities, informed by these findings, are demonstrated, including academic discourse techniques and the use of corpora and other online tools for text analysis.
Cheryl Zimmerman, California State University, Fullerton, USA
Jun Li, California State University, Fullerton, USA

#IATEFL 2017 – Corpus related talks and posters

The razzledazzle that is IATEFL is approaching soon. So here is a list of talks and posters related to corpora that is listed on the conference programme (pdf). I hope we get some good tweeters for these and some recordings.

Tuesday 4 April
A beginner’s guide to creating vocabulary lists with corpus software
Michael Jones (Saudi Aramco)
Using a practical example, this teacher-focused talk aims to demystify the use of corpus linguistics to make effective vocabulary choices. Attendees will be shown how easy it is, even for neophytes, to use the free AntConc corpus analysis software to compile context-specific custom corpora and keyword lists. Those teaching ESP or business English will find the talk particularly useful.

Student-built corpora: do students see the benefit?
Catherine Prewett-Schrempf & Matthew Urmston (Vienna University of
Applied Sciences for Management & Communication)
How are corpora language activities perceived by students? I will present an action research project aimed at examining student response to using corpora for a writing assignment. The context is a first-semester Business English course at the Vienna University of Applied Sciences, where students draw on both a learner corpus and an expert corpus to self-correct their work.

FUSE – The Finnish Upper Secondary School Corpus of Spoken English
Lasse Ehrnrooth (Alppila Upper Secondary School)
This poster looks at the linguistic features present in the current version of FUSE, the Finnish Upper Secondary School Corpus of Spoken English. The speech corpus consists of transcribed dialogues recorded during various, official, spoken English examinations in Finnish upper secondary schools. The research focus will be on hesitation markers and overlapping speech.

Wednesday 5 April
Lexis and exam preparation: fitting the pieces into the puzzle
Sharon Hartle (University of Verona, Language Centre)
One aspect of use of English that upper intermediate and advanced learners find particularly challenging is lexical grammar: collocation, verb patterns, etc., and how to use them effectively. This presentation shows how to train learners to use two corpora – the American Corpus (COCA) and SkeLL (Sketch Engine for English Language Learning) – to improve awareness of lexis for exam preparation purposes.

Corpora and business English: developing learners’ collocational competence
Radwa Younis (Future University in Egypt)
This workshop is going to highlight the potential of using corpora to teach collocation in business English. We will define collocation and shed light on its peculiar aspects that present challenges to learners. The workshop will suggest some corpus-based activities to assist learners in developing a repertoire of business English collocations.

Strategies for speaking tests: corpus-based tips for preparing students
Gemma Bellhouse & Alex Thorp (Trinity College, London)
Learners of English must often take an interactive speaking test to prove they can communicate effectively. But how can students prepare for unpredictable communication? Are there strategies used by test candidates, and could learning them make speaking performance more successful? Using new corpus data, this
talk outlines ‘active listening’ strategies to support test preparation and awareness of communicative competence.

Thursday 6 April
A corpus study of teacher talk in the EFL classroom
Eric Nicaise (Universite Catholique Louvain / Haute Ecole Louvain-en- Hainaut)
The talk will present CONNEcT, an acronym for A Corpus of Native and Non-native EFL Classroom Teacher Talk. CONNEcT constituted the main source of data for my doctoral thesis. It consists of transcripts of native and non-native English lesson audio-recordings carried out in secondary education. The talk will mainly focus on some of the corpus findings and suggestions for applications.

Linking adverbials and transition markers in trainee teachers’ language usage
Odette Vassallo (University of Malta)
Linking adverbials and transition markers is an essential part of discourse cohesion. These features help to ensure clarity of communication in classroom teacher talk. This talk discusses the findings of a corpus-based study focussing on the patterns of language usage of trainee teachers. It offers some initial thoughts on the implications of the study’s findings for teacher education and development.

How many words do scholars have for “How many words do Eskimos have for snow”?

The photos above were taken from a book on mountains (the title of which I had forgotten to note) whilst on a winter break. I remember feeling vaguely superior to the author of the mountain book as I vaguely recalled the “debunking” of the Eskimo-languages-have-so-many-words-for-snow myth. Then I promptly forgot about the issue till @EngliciousUCL tweeted a study by Regier et. al. (2016) called “Languages Support Efficient Communication about the Environment: Words for Snow Revisited”.

This study makes the point that in all the fuss about the status of the Eskimo words for snow an underlying principle has not been tested, that is “language is shaped by the need for efficient communication”. The authors go on to demonstrate the support for this principle.

This post is a limited attempt to list interesting articles written by scholars on the Eskimo snow words topic either for the public or more specialist audiences.

So back to the question – How many words do scholars have for “How many words do Eskimos have for snow”? There are at least 40000 words using the following references:

As mentioned the above is a limited list as this does not include texts with a passing mention of “Eskimo words for snow” and/or that use it as a prompt for other related examples (many of which you can find by doing a search in Language Log). For texts before Martin (1986), Cichocki and Marcin (2010) provide a comprehensive history.

The Language Log blog is also the stomping ground of the author of one of the most popular descriptions of the refutation of the “How many words do Eskimos have for snow” – Geoffrey Pullum.

To recap Pullum (1991) following Martin (1986) points out that the number of distinct words, defined as root forms, that Eskimo/Inuit languages have for snow is four. This number is taken from the text published by the anthropologist Franz Boas in 1911. The problems of identifying what are words is compounded in Inuit languages as they often add bases together to form whatever description they need. Hence the number of words for snow or for seals or for ice is unbounded. The number of sentences in English to describe say a wintry scene is similarly infinite.

Bearing the above in mind, specialists in Eskimo/Inuit languages such as Kaplan (2003) say the number of root forms amount to 3. Whilst other specialists like Woodbury (1991) gives 15 lexeme meanings, where a lexeme is similar to a root.

One study of several Eskimo dictionaries by Krupnik & Müller-Will (2010) argues that independent words that are derived from roots represent “a meaningful and clearly distinguishable phenomenon to indigenous speakers”. Hence the number of ways Eskimo languages describe snow is quite rich, even more so for words to describe ice. They add if you really want a language with a 100 words for snow look to the Norwegian Sámi.

This shallow trek into the Eskimo words for snow trope brings up a couple of points – 1) how various factoids one learns about language often hides more interesting principles as Regier et. el. (2016) show; 2) how using English as a comparison language as well as the metalanguage of comparison may result in erroneous native speaker intuitions projected onto a language with a very different classification system (Silverstein 1991).

I’ll leave you with a question asked to Michael Silverstein one of the players in the early drama:

I asked Silverstein if he had ever thought about popularizing the field of linguistics in the way academics in other disciplines have.


He recoiled. “That’s an ethical question,” he said. “There are people who are scientific evangelists, who are no different in kind than any other evangelist. I’m enough of a Menckenite to be a skeptic–that is to say, to realize that my claim to systematic knowledge of a social phenomenon is just one more thing that might go into the hopper of whatever the phenomenon happened to be. One might say that that’s just not the kind of phenomenon that responds to that sort of treatment. ‘You just think you’re studying it, you’re not really studying it; what the phenomenon is is exactly what John Simon says it is, and pooh-pooh on all of your stuff.’ Because, remember, the phenomena are us.”

(Watch Your Language! Anthropological Linguist Michael Silverstein on Australian Aborigines, Wine Nuts, Dear Abby, and the Language Police by Bill Wyman, February 14 1991)

Thanks for reading.

TaWSIG and teacher experience design

Teachers as workers, TaWSIG, is here for one simple reason, there is very little public discussion of working conditions in English Language Teaching, ELT. To a large extent this is understandable given the dominance of private business concerns running the industry. We try not to be anti this-that-whatever, rather we want to promote discussion of the reality of our working lives. If you agree please do consider sharing your opinions and experiences.

On the website blog we have so far posted on why you should join, everyday hassles, re-claiming our teaching identity, re-thinking professional development and raising mental health issues.

We do not want you to go back to your scheduled programming, we want you to help push ELT into thinking about designing teacher experiences we can be proud of. We want our learners to be proud of their achievements knowing their teachers are working in the best possible circumstances. We want to change things. We can change things.

Thanks for reading.

Lesson Kit 2: Cup stacking

This post provides some items that one could use to construct a lesson or activity based on the following video:

h/t Dr. Alec Couros ‏@courosa

This is more a lesson idea than a kit like the last Star Wars puns. But since I have not done another kit, a kit it shall be.

As I was teaching a module on understanding numerical information I used some numbers from the video as a pre-viewing activity.

1. Ask how are the following numbers related?:

1.786s    (world record for fastest time)

622809 people (world record for most people stacking at same time)

5.3s (time journalist achieved)

A frequent response from students here was the rate of births and deaths. (Instead of numbers you could ask say how the following are related – cups, 3-6-3, California)

2. Then ask which of the following is a (Junior) Olympic sport:

Jump rope

Sport/cup stacking

Baton twirling

They are all (Junior) Olympic Sports. Some time may be spent on discussing what these sports are exactly.

3. Next ask students which of these sports are related to the numbers mentioned initially.

4. Tell them the first time they watch the video to not make any notes but simply be prepared to give a reaction/comment.

5. The second time to take notes and invent some questions to ask their classmates.

6. Play for a third time depending on level of your students. Another option is to split the video at about the 4min mark before the part on the specific techniques. And get students to ask questions based on information up to this mark.

Possible vocabulary queries may include what P.E. means (physical education).

Some questions to prompt class if they are feeling taciturn:

What may be problematic for the future of the sport?

When and where did the sport originate?

What features of the cups are mentioned?

What is a scratch?

What is the most frequent pattern?

What do the numbers presented at the beginning refer to exactly?

What is merch short for?

One class wit came up with – When was this form of mental illness discovered : /)

7. As a second stage you can get students to work on some bottom-up listening skills by running the video URL through TubeQuizard.


Click image to go to exercises.

Thanks for reading, hope the video gives you further ideas which I would love to hear about.

ELT Research Bites, saving time is necessary but not sufficient

I am delighted to be involved, along with other English language teachers, in a new initiative called ELT Research Bites founded by Anthony Schmidt.

One of the major reasons teachers give for not reading research articles is lack of time. Another reason is the difficulty of reading research articles (Nassaji, 2012). Research bites hopes to help with the time issue. And to some extent with the difficulty issue by filtering articles through language we understand hence we hope other teachers do too. Also contributions to the site are open to all.

At the time of writing we have posts on note-taking instruction, offline and online written feedback, corpus use and writing, extensive reading, teacher’s L1 and L2 use, and translation tasks.

However, the problem of applying research knowledge into the classroom remains. This is due to the cognitive demands placed on the teacher. Bartels (2009) when talking about applying knowledge about language (KAL) recommends focusing on tasks with similar constraints to actual teaching , using specific teaching situations to link KAL to classroom knowledge, and deliberate practice using case studies and hyper-media.

Thanks for reading and hope to see your writing on ELT Research Bites.


Bartels, N. (2009) Knowledge about language. In: J. Richards & A. Burns (Eds.) Cambridge Guide to Second Language Teacher Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Nassaji, H. (2012). The relationship between SLA research and language pedagogy: Teachers’ perspectives. Language Teaching Research, 16(3), 337-365. DOI: 10.1177/1362168812436903

C’est compliqué: TESOL France 2016, Fractals and things

TESOL France Colloquium 2016 starts this Friday 19 November and no doubt the star attraction is linguist Diane Larsen-Freeman who will be doing a plenary and a Q&A session on the Saturday.

Her talk is titled “Patterns in Language: Why are they the way that they are?”

From her abstract:

Drawing on my contention that language is a complex, dynamic system, I will demonstrate that the shape of patterns in language are fractal.

Larsen-Freeman, 2016:15

The claim that language is a “complex, dynamic system” has been critiqued by Kevin Gregg (2010) and supported, albeit with important caveats, by William A Kretschmar (2011) when both reviewed the book Complex systems and applied linguistics by Diane Larsen-Freeman and Lynne Cameron.

Gregg thinks it is false that language, when seen from a narrow viewpoint, as linguistic competence, is dynamical. Everyone learning their first language reaches a steady state and for second language learners there is also the state of fossilisation. He also argues that seeing language in more general terms as an entity in a complex dynamic system is incoherent as language is not a thing but rather an abstraction.

Possible question to Larsen-Freeman 1 – How are you demarcating language when applying dynamic systems theory (DST)?

Kretzschmar who has his own, more plausible, account of DST for speech or language in use, takes issue with Larson-Freeman-Cameron (LFC) for conflating complex systems  and chaotic systems. Chaotic systems cycle through a very large number of states whereas complex systems are on the edge between fixed states and chaos. This can be seen in the difference between Mandelbrot Koch Island fractals and Mandelbrot San Marco Dragon fractals. The former are well-ordered and are a simple collection of basic patterns which form self-similarly at different scales, whereas the latter goes through a series of many states, tracing a “long orbit of successive positions” (Kretzschmar, 2010).

Possible question to Larsen-Freeman 2 – What kind of fractals are you talking about?

Kretzschmar points out that Larson-Freeman’s study of individuals using DST breaks an assumption that complex systems needs numerous interacting elements. Apart from one example given by LFC which does seem to use a DST term appropriately Kretzschmar is highly critical of the general uses of terms from the DST field made by LFC.

I said earlier that in my (very) shallow reading of Kretzschmar I found his account of applying DST to speech much more plausible. One of the reasons is that he keeps with the linguistic tradition of Saussure’s notion of langue and parole, or Chomsky’s concept of competence and performance. He comments on the Five Graces Group which promotes DST in second language acquisition, of which prominent members include Larson-Freeman and Nick Ellis:

…the Five Graces Group is right to insist on usage as what builds a speaker’s cognitive sense of a language, but are not credible in their assertion of a direct connection between speech and grammar as a network of categories…Grammar…when it is defined as a network or hierarchy of categories or rules is something essentially different from the output of the complex system of speech, something only indirectly related to language in use.

Kretzschmar, 2015:91

Possible question to Larsen-Freeman 3 – How does your application of DST to language compare to Kretzschmar?

I hope attendees to the colloquium will find these three suggested questions of use. All errors and omissions mine. Do pop further questions in the comments.

For more info on the critical side have a read of https://criticalelt.wordpress.com/2016/03/20/larsen-freeman-lost-in-complexity-bullshit-baffles-brains/.

Edit: Thanks to Geoff Jordan for reminding me of another one of his essential posts a review of Larsen-Freeman’s talk at IATEFL 2016 https://criticalelt.wordpress.com/2016/04/19/larsen-freemans-iatefl-2016-plenary-shifting-metaphors-from-computer-input-to-ecological-affordances/

Enjoy the conference and thanks for reading.


Gregg, K. R. (2010). Review article: Shallow draughts: Larsen-Freeman and Cameron on complexity. Second Language Research, 26(4), 549-560. DOI: 10.1177/0267658310366582

Kretzschmar, W. A. (2010). Language variation and complex systems. American speech, 85(3), 263-286. DOI: 10.1215/00031283-2010-016

Kretzschmar, W. A. (2011). Book Review: Complex Systems and Applied Linguistics. By Diane Larsen-Freeman & Lynne Cameron. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2008. xi+ 287. ISBN 978-0-19-442244-4. Journal of English Linguistics, 39(1), 89-95. DOI: 10.1177/0075424210366194

Kretzschmar Jr, W. A. (2015). Language and complex systems. Cambridge University Press. https://books.google.fr/books?id=r5fwCAAAQBAJ&lpg=PR9&ots=jtFmWnsRQB&dq=Language%20and%20Complex%20Systems%20By%20William%20A.%20Kretzschmar%2C%20Jr&lr&pg=PA91#v=snippet&q=graces%20group%20is%20right&f=false

Larsen-Freeman, D. (2016). Patterns in Language: Why are they the way that they are? Paper presented at TESOL France Colloquium, Paris, France. Retrieved from http://www.tesol-france.org/uploaded_files/files/Full%20TF%20Colloquium%20Programme.pdf