Dr Dana Gablasova

Senior Lecturer


I joined Lancaster University in 2013, following a PhD in Linguistics at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. I first worked in the ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science before taking up the position of Lecturer in Linguistics in 2016. My research focuses on corpus-based approaches to spoken and written (academic language), vocabulary, collocations, language learning and language testing.

In the area of vocabulary studies, I have worked with both specialised and general vocabulary, using corpus-based as well as experimental methods. An example of this research can be seen in this article in the Modern Language Journal. My most recent research in this area concerns the investigation of formulaic language (collocations) in spoken and written production of L1 and L2 users. A recent example of this research can be found in this article in Language Learning. With Vaclav Brezina I co-developed the New General Service List (New GSL) which is a list of core English vocabulary that contains the 2,500 most frequent and general words of the English language. The full list and an article describing the research are freely available from Applied Linguistics.

In the area of language learning and teaching, I am interested in applying corpus-based methods to the study of patterns in L2 production. In my recent research, I have analysed vocabulary, collocation and stance-taking strategies of L2 speakers of English, looking at the effect of L2 proficiency, task and L1 background. An example of this research can be found in this article in Applied Lingusitics. Further, I believe there is great potential in using corpora in language teaching – both directly with learners by means of data-driven (discovery) learning as well as for the development of teaching materials. An example of my work on applying corpora in language teaching can be found at the Corpus for Schools project website.

In the area of language testing, I work with corpora to better understand the nature of spoken language assessment and to contribute to greater authenticity in language tests. I have led the development of and research on the Trinity Lancaster Corpus of spoken L2 English production based on the General Examinations in Spoken English (GESE) exam developed and administered by Trinity College London. The corpus contains over 4.2 million words from more than 2,000 interactions between L2 speakers of English (exam candidates) and L1 speakers of English (examiners), making it the largest corpus of its kind. The corpus is an excellent resource for anyone interested in L2 spoken production, giving researchers and teachers access to a large electronic database of spoken L2 production of English users from a variety of L1 backgrounds and L2 proficiency levels. This research project combines the theory and methodology from the fields of corpus linguistics, second language acquisition and language testing (more about the project at http://cass.lancs.ac.uk). At present, in collaboration with the British Council, I am also working on the development of a spoken corpus based on the online APTIS test used in over 85 countries (www.britishcouncil.org/exam/aptis).

My research on academic language use in L1 and L2 has focused on the writing and reading at university level. Currently, I am working on the development of an EMI Corpus of Reading and Writing based on data from seven universities in the UK, China, Italy and Thailand. The project has been funded through the Future of English scheme by the British Council. More information about the project is available here: wp.lancs.ac.uk/emi-corpus-project/.