Recycling vocabulary in a variety of contexts is recommended by the vocabulary literature. Simply going back to texts one has used in a coursebook is an option but it misses the variety of context.
I need to recycle vocabulary from Unit 1 of my TOEIC book, so I take the topics from the table of contents as input to create a wiki corpus.
The main title of Unit 1 in my book is careers, with sub topics of professions, recruitment, training. I could also add in job interview, job fair, temp agency.
Note for more details on various features of the BYU WIKI corpus do see the videos by Mark Davies, for the rest of this post I assume you have some familiarity with these.
So when creating a corpus in BYU WIKI corpus in my Title word(s) search I enter career* to find all titles with career and careers.
Then in the Words in pages box I enter professions, profession, recruitment, training. Note search for plural and 300 as number of pages:
After pressing submit a screen of a list of wiki pages is presented, you can scroll through this to find pages that may be irrelevant to you:
After unticking any irrelevant pages press submit. I won’t talk a lot about filtering your corpus build here. As mentioned do make sure to watch Mark Davies series of videos to get more details.
Now you will see your newly created corpus:
Tick the Specific radio button:
and then click the nouns keywords. Skill is the top keyword here which also appears in the wordlist in my book:
What I am more interested in is verbs so I click that:
The noun requirement, which by the way does not come from the careers unit, appears in the book wordlist but not the verb. So now I can look at some example uses of the verb require that I could use in class.
One step is to see what collocates with require:
Clicking on the top 5 collocates brings up some potential language.
Another interesting use is once you have a number of corpora you can see what word appear most in each corpora. The following screenshots show corpora related to the first 3 units of my book i.e. Careers, Workplaces, Communications:
The greyed lines mean those corpora are omitted from my search. This could be a nice exercise where you take some word and get students to see how they are distributed. So for example you may show the distribution of the verb fill:
We see that it appears most in the recruit* corpus. One option now is to get students to predict how the verb is used in that corpus and then click the bar to see some examples.
After this demonstration you can now ask students to guess what words will appear most in the various corpora and do the search for the students to see the resulting graphs.
Hope this has shown how we can use BYU WIKI corpus to recycle vocabulary in different contexts.
Do shoot me any questions as this post may indeed be confusing.