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Corpus examples for writers

Frankenberg-Garcia, AL (2015) Corpus examples for writers In: e-Lex 2015, 2015-08-10 - 2015-08-13, Herstmonceaux Castle, Sussex.

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Modern learners’ dictionaries can help users not just with language reception, but also with language production, assisting writers select appropriate collocations, use the correct syntax and even avoid common errors. Although there are several ways in which this kind of information can be presented in dictionaries, previous research has shown that dictionary users tend to favour obtaining information on language production from examples (e.g., see Bogaards and van de Kloot 2002, Chan 2011, and Dziemianko 2006 and 2012). However, as noted by Humblé (2001), dictionary examples as they are today can be confusing to learners, as they do not normally distinguish systematically between decoding examples to reinforce language comprehension and encoding examples to support language production. This could be one of the reasons why early studies on dictionary examples (e.g., see Summers 1988, Laufer 1993, Nesi 1996 and Al-Ajmi 2008) failed to produce much evidence about their benefits. In contrast, recent findings by Frankenberg-Garcia (2012) and (2014) suggest that presenting learners with separate corpus-based examples for language comprehension and language production can indeed be beneficial, especially if learners are presented with more than one example of the same type. In the present paper, I will not concern myself with examples for language comprehension, for information on meaning is also effectively available from the definitions in monolingual dictionaries and from the translations in bilingual dictionaries. Instead, the paper focuses on the value of examples for language production, which, as pointed out above, seem to very appreciated by writers looking for information on collocation, syntax and so on. In particular, this study further investigates the use of encoding examples to support language production by (1) carrying out a large-scale experiment with 161 participants, (2) refining the elicitation procedure used in previous studies and (3) testing whether learners react better to an optimum number of examples. The results obtained lend further support to the notion that encoding examples are indeed useful to writers. However, it was not possible to establish what constitutes an ideal number of examples, as there seems to be considerable learner variability with regard to how individual writers react. Keywords: learners’ dictionaries, dictionary examples, second language writing, corpora, corpus examples References Al-Ajmi, H. (2008) ‘The Effectiveness of Dictionary Examples in Decoding: The Case of Kuwaiti Learners of English’. Lexikos, 18:15-26 Boogards, P. and van der Kloot, W. (2002) Verb Constructions in Learners' Dictionaries. In: A. Braasch and C. Povlsen (eds.), Proceedings of the Tenth Euralex International Congress. Copenhagen: CST, 747-757. Chan, A. (2011) ‘Cantonese ESL Learners' Use of Grammatical Information in a Monolingual Dictionary for Determining the Correct Use of a Target Word. International Journal of Lexicography, 25/1: 68-94. Dziemianko, A. (2006) User-friendliness of Verb Syntax in Pedagogical Dictionaries of English. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag. Dziemianko, A. (2012) Noun and Verb Codes in English Monolingual Dictionaries for Foreign Learners: A Study of Usefulness in the Polish Context. Poznán: Adam Mickiewicz University Press. Frankenberg-Garcia, A. (2012) ‘Learners’ Use of Corpus Examples’. International Journal of Lexicography, 25/3: 273-296. Frankenberg-Garcia, A. (2014) ‘The Use of Corpus Examples for Language Comprehension and Production’. Special Issue on Researching Uses of Corpora for Language Teaching and Learning. ReCALL, 26: 128-146. Humblé, P. (2001) Dictionaries and Language Learners. Frankfurt: Haag & Herchen. Laufer, B. (1993) The Effects of Dictionary Definitions and Examples on the Comprehension of New L2 words. Cahiers de Lexocologie, 63:131-142. Nesi, H. (1996) The Role of Illustrative Examples in Productive Dictionary Use. Dictionaries, 17: 198-206. Summers, D. (1988) The Role of Dictionaries in Language Learning. In R. Carter and M. McCarthy (eds.), Vocabulary and language teaching. London, Longman, 111-125.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Conference Abstract)
Subjects : Language
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of English and Languages > Languages and Translation
Authors :
Date : 10 August 2015
Additional Information : Item not available from this repository
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 24 Aug 2016 08:10
Last Modified : 24 Aug 2016 08:10

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