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Project Overview
Corpora for teaching and learning

Aims: (Continued)

7. Corpora can be seen as an additional resource for most language teaching and learning activities, and may be of particular benefit to students who have problems with traditional resources. Some of the key benefits of corpora are:

7.1 rich exposure to authentic materials - many traditional resources rely on invented texts, pedagogically-motivated examples, and a limited range of genres; corpora offer examples from authentic communications in a wide range of genres and social contexts

7.2 condensed linguistic experience - students may receive multiple exposures to a particular word, phrase or grammatical pattern only over a period of months or years; corpus tools can display numerous examples instantly, and help students to remember them

7.3 up-to-date - traditional resources are often very out-of-date; regularly updated corpora can provide the latest usages

7.4 raising language awareness - students see words and patterns in a variety of contexts, and become aware of the importance of author, social situation, etc in variations in form and meaning

7.5 encouraging learner autonomy and research - students can access the data for themselves, in their own time, study at their preferred pace, create individual paths through the data, and recognize the patterns and understand the analyses in different ways; this motivates research-oriented or discovery-type learning

7.6 focussing on common and typical features as well as linguistic variation - frequency-based examples help students to understand which are common usages and which are rare or privileged in certain contexts or genres; variations can be seen which dictionaries and grammar books do not have space to provide

7.7 lifelong learning - corpora are available on the web, so students can continue to make use of them in their later professional lives

7.8 transferable skills - use of corpus software enhances students' ability to use a wider range of computer technologies; pattern recognition is a widely applicable skill

7.9 flexibility - open access, from many locations, at all times, to teachers and students, variety of data types, variety of data formats, individual and group access, etc.

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