Before the advent of corpus linguistics, learners were always advised to resort to grammars and dictionaries as essential tools to be consulted for developing competence in both language and translation skills. The limitations of such advice are now well known, since the learner needs to be presented with authentic examples taken from everyday usage rather than invented ones devised for the explanatory or informative purposes of a reference text. Indeed, these kinds of texts are often lacking in a suitable answer to students’ queries. It would seem then to be a natural step forward for learners to become language detectives themselves (Johns 1991, 1997) by undertaking simple tasks with concordance software in activities targeted at gaining an awareness of how much they can learn and how they can improve their language competence by integrating corpus investigation into their work. This paper takes inspiration from the numerous studies (e.g. Hunston 2002, Sinclair 1991, 2003, 2004, Stubbs 2001) on corpus investigation in the search for meaning in context and applies the methodology outlined in order to increase language awareness in groups of Italian learners of English in the university language classroom. Corpus-based and corpus-driven activities will be presented showing how learners may be encouraged to use both reference and specialised corpora to stimulate a closer investigation into the subtleties of meaning of common and specialised vocabulary. Indeed, rather than confronting students with results of corpus analysis, this paper will show how it is more profitable to stimulate them into using corpora and finding new meanings in context for themselves, not only during the general learning process towards increased language competence but also when tackling translations from different text genres. Examples will also be given of specialized corpora created by the students themselves for their own purposes and language-related interests (e.g. scientific and technical translations, the use of evaluative adjectives in art reviews, the use of the subject pronoun in political speeches, and so forth). Corpus investigation can thus be seen as an integral part of learning on the one hand and translating on the other, as well as a means with which to bridge the gap between the knowledge and skills needed for their future professions, once they have left the academic environment.

Hands On: Developing Language Awareness through Corpus Investigation / Mansfield, Gillian. - 200:(2014), pp. 369-387.

Hands On: Developing Language Awareness through Corpus Investigation

MANSFIELD, Gillian
2014-01-01

Abstract

Before the advent of corpus linguistics, learners were always advised to resort to grammars and dictionaries as essential tools to be consulted for developing competence in both language and translation skills. The limitations of such advice are now well known, since the learner needs to be presented with authentic examples taken from everyday usage rather than invented ones devised for the explanatory or informative purposes of a reference text. Indeed, these kinds of texts are often lacking in a suitable answer to students’ queries. It would seem then to be a natural step forward for learners to become language detectives themselves (Johns 1991, 1997) by undertaking simple tasks with concordance software in activities targeted at gaining an awareness of how much they can learn and how they can improve their language competence by integrating corpus investigation into their work. This paper takes inspiration from the numerous studies (e.g. Hunston 2002, Sinclair 1991, 2003, 2004, Stubbs 2001) on corpus investigation in the search for meaning in context and applies the methodology outlined in order to increase language awareness in groups of Italian learners of English in the university language classroom. Corpus-based and corpus-driven activities will be presented showing how learners may be encouraged to use both reference and specialised corpora to stimulate a closer investigation into the subtleties of meaning of common and specialised vocabulary. Indeed, rather than confronting students with results of corpus analysis, this paper will show how it is more profitable to stimulate them into using corpora and finding new meanings in context for themselves, not only during the general learning process towards increased language competence but also when tackling translations from different text genres. Examples will also be given of specialized corpora created by the students themselves for their own purposes and language-related interests (e.g. scientific and technical translations, the use of evaluative adjectives in art reviews, the use of the subject pronoun in political speeches, and so forth). Corpus investigation can thus be seen as an integral part of learning on the one hand and translating on the other, as well as a means with which to bridge the gap between the knowledge and skills needed for their future professions, once they have left the academic environment.
9783034315166
Hands On: Developing Language Awareness through Corpus Investigation / Mansfield, Gillian. - 200:(2014), pp. 369-387.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11381/2762734
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