Presentation on theme: "Learning from our learners’ grammar Dr Anne O’Keeffe, MIC, University of Limerick, Ireland."— Presentation transcript:
Learning from our learners’ grammar Dr Anne O’Keeffe, MIC, University of Limerick, Ireland
Cambridge Learner Corpus It contains over 35 million words from Cambridge exam scripts from over: 135,000 exam scripts 130 different first languages 190 different countries See: http://www.cambridge.org/elt/corpus/learner_corpus2.htm
Practical application of learner corpus English Profile Research Materials design –What students get wrong helps identify typical errors. –What students get right gives good model sentences and tells us about typical competencies.
Looking forward to What range of errors do you expect to find? At what level do you think learners will, on the whole, get it right?
I am looking forward for|to your reply. (BECP; Greece; B1 2003) I'm looking forward from|to hearing from you. (FCE; Brazil; B2; 2000) We are looking forward in|to hearing from you. (FCE; Malaysia; B2; 1997) I am looking forward of|to hearing from you. (FCE; Greece; B2; 1993) I'm looking forward on|to hearing from you. (PET; France; B1; 2003)
looking forward for Looking forward for
Let’s focus on the word opinion and its patterns: What patterns for the word opinion can do you expect to find in the learner corpus?
All of the following patterns are found in the Cambridge Learner Corpus: on my opinion in my opinion of my opinion to my opinion under my opinion to be of the opinion that
Cambridge Learner Corpus
in my opinion
Learner Corpus In my opinion : in my opinion
These things are usually, in my opinion, anyway, er, er the results are often accidents. There has unfortunately in my opinion been a change of attitude about which cases to prosecute. Terrible shame in my opinion that that building was demolished, allowed to go to wrack and ruin, er and then demolished. Examples from the BNC
Examples from the Learner Corpus In my opinion the best means of getting to work is by bicycle … (FCE; Italy; B2 VANTAGE; 1993) So, in my opinion, I'm really looking forward to the next music festival. ( 577965; FCE; China; B2 VANTAGE; 1997) In my opinion, it seems that we achieved the aim satisfactorily, even though it was not easy. (CAE; Japan; C1 EFFECTIVE OPERATIONAL PROFICIENCY; 2000) A lot of people prefer cats to dogs, but, in my opinion, cats are only interested in food, not in you. (581974; FCE; Italy; B2 VANTAGE; 1997)
Some Turkish examples In my opinion you should go to Antalya. (2605889; Preliminary English Test; Turkey; B1 THRESHOLD; 2008; Turkish; Pass) In my opinion, a friendly receptionist is the essence of a welcoming reception.... (571244; First Certificate in English; Turkey; B2 VANTAGE; 1999; Turkish; Pass) In my opinion life is extremely difficult and complicated for mankind. (584268; Certificate of Proficiency in English; Turkey; C2 MASTERY; 1998; Turkish; Fail) In my opinion this film also has very good camera work. (587238; First Certificate in English; Turkey; B2 VANTAGE; 1999; Turkish; Pass)
Will + have + participle At what level do you think learners begin to use it? At what level is it ‘criterial’?
B2 been been increasing finished increased scored C1 been disappeared determined disappointed improved lived made taken settled down spent C2 been delivered gained increased lived succeeded
I can’t use it. I try to use it but mostly get it wrong. I use it and usually get it right.
English Profile project: getting a fuller profile Course books Exam syllabi Corpus
In conclusion… By using a corpus of learner writing, we can learn more about our students’ grammar patterns at different levels. More research into learner patterns in needed. For grammar materials writers, the Learner Corpus is the key resource on which to base materials.
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