A corpus-based approach to
online materials development for
writing research articles
Ching-Fen Chang & Chih-Hua
Ana Paulina López Álvarez
- English is the de facto lingua franca in the research
- Academic writing poses a great challenge for non-native
speakers of English.
a) lexico-grammatical features
b) rhetorical functions
c) writing skills
d) generic structures
EAP & Research Articles (RA)
- CARS Model (Create-a-Research-Space) by
a) How information is organized
b) Linguistic features in RA: tense, voice, modals,
hedging, metadiscourse, reporting verbs, and personal
The role of material
- The use of authentic material is very
- The “perfect” material would be the ones
based in both corpus analysis and genre
The role of technology in understanding RA
- Computer-Assisted Language Learning:
Objective: To increase students writer’s
consciousness of RA’s structures.
- Corpus compilation: Research articles in the
field of computer science.
- Target students: Students of computer
- Total of 60 RA.
Purposes of analysis of corpus
- Major and optional moves in each section of the RA
- Common move sequences in each section
- Move structure throughout the whole RA
What’s a move?
A move is a discoursal or rhetorical unit that performs a coherent
communicative function in a written or spoken discourse.
Examples: Background information, justifications and reasons, comparisons,
Process and results of analysis
- Meetings to check inter-reliability.
- Discuss results and problems.
- The following moves, methods, results and discussion are mixed in a
number of sections between introduction and conclusions.
- Field-specific vocabulary
- Lexico-grammatical features
- Linguistic features related to the communicative
purposes of each section.
Let’s start the online course
- Construct the website
- Design the course structure
- Create online materials
What the course included
- Two lesson units:
1) Information structure: Discussion topics, lecture notes, etc.
2) Language use: Writing skills activities, material and content
- Audio instructions in users’ native language
- Learning platform: Similar to Moodle.
Each section had the following: Learning tasks, discussion, homework,
learning resources and online writing.
Extra features for students: Interaction with teachers and peers, check
learning progress, and self evaluation.
The students evaluate the course
The students provided feedback about the
- Online materials
- Online activities
- Resources and tools
- Learning platform
- A supportive writing environment using the
computer can help learners to become
researchers and autonomous learners.
- A target corpus can provide abundant and
invaluable resources for both teachers and