IATEFL 2016 – Corpus carnival!

I started following IATEFL online in 2012 but it is only after seeing this year’s programme that I felt any slight regret not being a member and not going in person. The number of corpus based talks is encouraging though it seems from the presenter’s affiliations that most uses are still based in higher/tertiary education. There is also a forum on using corpora in the classroom.

I hope to blog the conference (do check the list of registered bloggers) and if you want to keep up with either TESOL 2016 or IATEFL 2016 tweeting do consider following the bot @TESOL_IATEFL_50.

Finally there is a new dedicated blog Corpus Linguistics for EFL, do check it.

Note for folks interested in TESOL 2016 corpus related talks see this list.

If you spot any relevant corpus talks that are missing let me know, thanks.

Talks using the word corpus or corpora in the IATEFL 2016 programme (pdf):

Wednesday 13 April
Making trouble-free corpus tasks in ten minutes
Jennie Wright (Target Training)
For business English learners who repeatedly misuse specific vocabulary and grammar, using a corpus (electronic multi-million word collections of real-world language examples) significantly enhances accuracy and competence. Accessible to everyone, with masses of free material to exploit, workshop participants will leave knowing how to quickly and easily use corpora to design activities that take less than ten minutes to create.

Using corpora to remedy language errors in L2 writing
Hulya Can (Bilkent University)
I present a classroom study, conducted with 13 intermediate-level university students, which tested if corpora helped learners improve L2 writing. Participants were asked to use a corpus to correct their written language errors and later questionnaires and interviews were carried out. Data analysis suggested a decrease in the number of language errors; furthermore, participants believed it was an effective language tool.

Classroom applications of corpora training for learner autonomy
Federico Espinosa (The University of Birmingham)
There is an established belief in ELT that training learners in strategies for independent language analysis fosters a deeper understanding of English. Following up from last year’s research talk on corpora training for increasing learner autonomy, this practical workshop will present three fully-developed activities to use corpora with learners in a classroom environment.

Conceptual interface of corpus-based error analysis through error mapping
Paschalis Chliaras (University of Birmingham, UK)
This presentation examines the effectiveness of ‘error mapping’ as a macro and micro error analysis of non-native English language learners’ essays. The procedure involved collecting data from essays, interpreting it, reporting information, and implementing it to teaching and learning. Subsequently, students understood their mistakes, identified their needs, learned to avoid mother tongue interference and handed in a competently proofread essay.

Teaching the pragmatics of spoken requests in EAP
Christian Jones (University of Liverpool, UK)
This talk will describe the impact of one explicit interventional treatment on developing pragmatic awareness and production of spoken requests and apologies in an EAP context at a British higher education institution. The talk will describe the effectiveness of the instruction, the linguistic features of successful spoken requests and apologies in this context, and the implications for EAP teaching. (the presenter here assures us “I am not speaking directly about corpora but may slip some mentions in!”)

Thursday 14 April
Answering language questions from corpora
James Thomas (Masaryk University)
There are many language questions that dictionaries, grammar books and native speakers cannot and do not readily answer. The range of questions extends across the whole hierarchy of language from morphology to sentence building to discourse and pragmatics. This talk offers an approach to asking questions to thousands of native speakers whose language has been sampled and stored in corpora.

Using English Grammar Profile to improve curriculum design
Geraldine Mark (Gloucestershire College/Cambridge University Press) & Anne O’Keeffe (Mary Immaculate College, Limerick/Cambridge University Press)
This talk showcases the English Grammar Profile, a new open educational resource developed to enhance our understanding of English learner grammar. Based on the Cambridge Learner Corpus, it provides over 1,200 corpus-based grammar competency statements across the six levels of the CEFR. The talk will showcase the resource and explore its importance for the design of materials and curricula.

Focus on B2 writing: preparing students for Cambridge English: First
Annette Capel (Freelance)
How can students score top marks? What aspects of writing should they work on at B2? This practical session explores the strengths and weaknesses of candidate performance using real answers from the Cambridge Learner Corpus. Participants will work with the Cambridge English Assessment Scale and evaluate preparation strategies. Learner data from the English Grammar Profile will illustrate useful grammatical development.

Electronic theses online – developing domain-specific corpora from open access
Alannah Fitzgerald (Concordia University) & Chris Mansfield (Queen Mary University of London)
Research findings will be presented from a study into the development and evaluation of domain-specific corpora from the Electronic Theses Online Service (EThOS) at the British Library. These collections were built using the interactive FLAX open-source language software for uptake in English for Specific Academic Purposes (ESAP) programmes at Queen Mary University of London.

Friday 15 April
Grammar for academic purposes
Louise Greenwood (Zayed University, Dubai)
Does an explicit focus on grammar help our students? If so, which grammatical structures should we focus on? This talk will argue that form-focused instruction is valuable and that careful selection of structures based on evidence from a corpus is essential in order to plan a targeted syllabus that meets the needs of students preparing for higher education.

Teacher-driven corpus development: the online restaurant review
Chad Langford & Joshua Albair (University Lille 3, France)
We present our project to develop a user-friendly, high-quality corpus of online restaurant reviews, which we consider a specific genre. Our goals are threefold: to present the genesis and results of our project; to elaborate on concrete pedagogical applications (concerning lexis, discourse, grammar and genre-based writing); and to foster collaboration between colleagues eager to develop and share corpora.
Forum on using corpora in the classroom

Guiding EAP learners to autonomously use online corpora: lessons learned
Daniel Ruelle (RMIT University Vietnam)
This presentation outlines the lessons learned from an initiative to guide upper-intermediate EAP learners to independently use online corpora to improve their written lexical range and accuracy. Experienced and less-experienced educators will leave with a better understanding of the benefits and challenges of training learners to use corpora, and several online tools and practical resources to use with their learners.

Learning academic vocabulary through a discovery-based approach
Nicole Keng (University of Vaasa, Finland)
This talk will examine the effectiveness of using corpora to learn academic vocabulary. The learning experiences and vocabulary knowledge of two groups of Finnish students will be compared. The findings will show how a discovery-based approach to academic vocabulary acquisition can profitably be embedded in EAP course design in a Finnish university context.

Exploring EAP teachers’ familiarity and experiences of corpora
Rachel Peacock (University of Nottingham Ningbo China)
This talk will present findings of a questionnaire investigating 52 EAP teachers’ understanding and practical classroom experience of corpora. Results highlight that the pedagogical potential of corpus-based applications remains at the research level. To address this, three user-friendly online reference tools that can be used by students or teachers in various teaching contexts will be introduced.
Data-driven learning – 25 years on
Crayton Walker (University of Birmingham)
Tim Johns from the University of Birmingham came up with the term Data Driven Learning (DDL) to describe the different ways language teachers can use corpora and corpus-based evidence in the classroom to support learning. In this workshop, I revisit DDL in order to find out how the methodology can be used with the online resources we currently have available.

Chatting in the academy: exploring spoken English for academic purposes
Michael McCarthy (Cambridge University Press)
How does spoken academic English typically differ from academic writing in university settings and how might this influence EAP materials? Using illustrations from corpora, this talk will focus on some key differences to be taken into account when planning materials. Practical examples will be drawn from the
new edition of Academic Vocabulary in Use and from Viewpoint (both CUP).


7 thoughts on “IATEFL 2016 – Corpus carnival!

  1. Hey, thanks for this — very helpful. Glad to see our talk referenced, but mostly to be so efficiently directed to the kind of things that interest us. Delegates interested in corpus stuff shouldn’t be put off by those of us coming from higher/tertiary education — in our case, at least, we are very teaching-oriented. Best, – Chad & Josh

    1. Hey, that would be great. Am about to post our answers to your questions in the comments section of that page. If you edited you page to reflect that addition, we’d really appreciate that. Thanks in advance! Chad and Josh.

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