Putting Context into the Internet 2011


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Concordancing in the language classroom has drawn a considerable amount of attention since the 1980s. However, despite the increasing influence of Corpora Linguistics in EFL methodology and textbooks, it has not established itself as common practice in the classroom.
This might have been due to difficulties in having access and dealing with corpora. In the 1990s, a program called “Contexts”, which generated Key Word In Context (KWIC) citations for classroom research and exercise, attempted to make the principles of Data Driven Learning accessible to teachers and students. However, the program was never released commercially.
Nowadays, the Internet has made concordancing accessible to all, from simple KWIC searches using search engines to sites which offer access to large corpora. This paper attempts to bring the idea behind “Contexts” to the Internet age by presenting a Java script which generates KWIC exercises that can be displayed using an Internet browser.

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  • 1.4 List of uses of concordancing for language teachers * How can concordances help teachers of languages? We will go into much greater detail in Section 4, Some practical illustrations, but here we can summarise the uses of concordancers as follows: * The teacher can use a concordancer to find examples of authentic usage to demonstrate features of vocabulary, typical collocations, a point of grammar or even the structure of a text * The teacher can generate exercises based on examples drawn from a variety of corpora, for example gap-filling exercises and tests. * Students can work out rules of grammar or usage and lexical features for themselves by searching for key words in context. Depending on their level, they can be invited to question some of the rules, based on their observation of patterns in authentic language. * Students can be more active in their vocabulary learning: depending on their level, they can be invited to discover new meanings, to observe habitual collocations, to relate words to syntax, or to be critical of dictionary entries. * Students can be invited to reflect on language use in general, based on their own explorations of a corpus of data, thus turning themselves into budding researchers.
  • Putting Context into the Internet 2011

    1. 1. Putting Context into the Internet Gustavo Gouveia Cultura Inglesa Espinheiro (Recife) Gustavo Gouveia
    2. 2. Before we start… Gustavo Gouveia Do you know what the term “concordance” means? Do you know what a language corpus is? Do you know what Data Driven Learning is? Have you ever used concordancing software? Have you ever used a concordance based exercise? Putting Context into the Internet
    3. 3. Concordance “ An alphabetical list of the words in a book or a set of books which also says where each word can be found and often how it is used.” Collins Cobuild English Dictionary Gustavo Gouveia
    4. 4. A concordance of the word “heart” : Gustavo Gouveia Using Concordance 3.2 (From: http://www.concordancesoftware.co.uk/)
    5. 5. Online Concordancing Web Concordancer: http://vlc.polyu.edu.hk/concordance/WWWConcappE.htm Gustavo Gouveia
    6. 6. Online Concordancing Online KWIC Concordancer (Business Letter Corpus): http://www.someya-net.com/concordancer/ Gustavo Gouveia
    7. 7. How can teachers use concordancing: <ul><li>To find authentic usage of language </li></ul><ul><li>To generate exercises from a variety of corpora </li></ul><ul><li>To get students to work out rules of usage </li></ul><ul><li>To help students learn vocabulary </li></ul><ul><li>To make students reflect on language use in general </li></ul>Gustavo Gouveia
    8. 8. Tim Johns' Data Driven Learning Gustavo Gouveia The most appropriate metaphors for language learning is that the (successful) learner is a linguistic researcher (forming hypothesis and testing them against the data) detective (learning to recognise and interpret clues) From Tim Johns' seminar notes at Newcastle University (1996)
    9. 9. Tim Johns' Data Driven Learning <ul><li>A focus on the exploitation of authentic materials </li></ul><ul><li>A focus on exploratory tasks and activities </li></ul><ul><li>A focus on learner-centred activities </li></ul><ul><li>A focus on the use and exploitation of tools </li></ul>Gustavo Gouveia
    10. 10. A survey with 55 Cultura Inglesa teachers: <ul><li>Know what concordance is: 3.6% </li></ul><ul><li>Know what a language corpus is: 2.2% </li></ul><ul><li>Know what Data Driven Learning is: 0.55% </li></ul><ul><li>Have used concordancing software : 0% </li></ul><ul><li>Have used a concordance based exercise : 0% </li></ul>Gustavo Gouveia
    11. 11. Why is classroom concordancing still restricted to a few enthusiasts? <ul><li>Lack of hardware? </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of software? </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of training? </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulties in dealing with corpora? </li></ul>Gustavo Gouveia
    12. 12. Tim Johns' Contexts Gustavo Gouveia
    13. 13. Tim Johns' Contexts Gustavo Gouveia
    14. 14. Internet Contexts (JavaScript) <SCRIPT language=&quot;JavaScript&quot;> var lineNow = 0; var line = new Array(); // Answer var Answer= &quot;hot&quot;; // lines line[0] = &quot;1 . It was draped with snowy napkins that kept ______ a platter of oyster salt roast and a mound o&quot;; line[1] = &quot;2 sense to him ... He whirled around, suddenly ______ all over, finding the man who had been stand&quot;; line[2] = &quot;3 5 knobs (fee $50). His prescription: ______ and cold compresses to increase her absorpti&quot;; line[3] = &quot;4 whether Marshal Malinovsky, who was blowing ______ and cold, exalting peace but also almost ope&quot;; line[4] = &quot;5 ct is due mainly to international wars, both ______ and cold. In every war of the United States &quot;; line[5] = &quot;6 ived, in a building long unheated in winter, ______ and damp under the iron dome in summer. J62&quot;; line[6] = &quot;7 they danced on the sand till your blood got ______ and danced with them. &quot;Really&quot;. Quint smo&quot;; line[7] = &quot;8 e, there was not much to it. The theatre was ______ and they were drugged with boredom. The s&quot;; line[8] = &quot;9 next to sprinkle over coals if they are too ______, and to stop flames that arise from melting &quot;; line[9] = &quot;10 a character group with a particular opinion. ______ arguments arise between tenors and basses, w&quot;; function next(form) { lineNow++; alert(&quot;Wrong answer. Try again.&quot;); form.Answer.value = &quot;&quot;; document.getElementById(&quot;line&quot;+lineNow).style.visibility = &quot;visible&quot;; } function showAnswer() { for (i = 0; i < line.length; i++) { document.getElementById(&quot;line&quot;+i).innerHTML = &quot;<pre>&quot;+line[i].replace(/______/, &quot;<font color=&quot;blue&quot;>&quot;+Answer+&quot;</font>&quot;)+&quot;</pre>&quot;; document.getElementById(&quot;line&quot;+i).style.visibility = &quot;visible&quot;; } } function checkAnswer(form) { if (form.Answer.value == Answer) { alert(&quot;That's right. You scored &quot;+(10-lineNow)+&quot; point(s).&quot;); showAnswer(); } else { if (lineNow < 9) next(form); else { alert(&quot;The correct answer is &quot;+answer+&quot;.&quot;); showAnswer(); } } return false; } </SCRIPT> Gustavo Gouveia Contexts online
    15. 15. From Concordancing to Internet Contexts Thank you! Gustavo Gouveia [email_address] Gustavo Gouveia