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SLLAT research group: talk by Morana Lukac on 'How word choice matters: an analysis of adjective + noun collocations in a corpus of learner essays'

Date: 18 February 2013 Time: 04.00-05.30pm

Venue: Bowland North SR 27

Second Language Learning and Teaching (SLLAT) research group presents:

How word choice matters: an analysis of adjective + noun collocations in a corpus of learner essaysForeign language learners' choice of collocations is traditionally considered to be one of the main markers of foreignlanguageness (Korosadowitz-Struzynska 1980:115), hence relevant in achieving a high degree of competence in the target language.In this study we analyse the Croatian Corpus of English Learner Essays (CELE), which consists of 198 argumentative essays written as part of the state-school leaving exam. The corpus, consisting of over 74k tokens was collected in 10 different counties, and the essays were produced in 2010 and 2011. The learners' use of adjective + noun collocations is compared against both findings from a native speaker corpus (BNC) and a corpus of learner English (ICLE). Instead of viewing learner usage of collocations as deficient (Shih 2000), the claims about the overuse and the underuse of statistically significant collocations are made on the basis of joint findings from the BNC and the ICLE. This approach demonstrates how native speaker data can be used for comparison, without being the norm against which the learner data should be measured, and, on the other hand, how other learner data can help distinguish between general characteristics of learner language and L1-transfer (Ringbom 1998:191).Korosadowicz-Struzynska, M. 1980. Word collocations in FL vocabulary instruction. Studia Anglica Posnaniensia 12. 109-120.Pavičić-Takač, Višnja and Morana Lukač. Forthcoming. A corpus-based approach to exploring EFL learners' collocational competence. Jezikoslovlje 14.Ringbom, Håkan. 1998. High-frequency verbs in the ICLE Corpus. In Antoinette Renouf (ed.), Explorations in Corpus Linguistics. Amsterdam & Atlanta, GA: Rodopi. 191-200.Shih, Rebecca Hsue-Hueh. 2000. Collocation Deficiency in a Learner Corpus of English: From an Overuse Perspective. PACLIC 14 Proceedings. 281-288.

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Organising departments and research centres: Linguistics and English Language


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