From Corpus to Classroom
Language Use and Language Teaching
By Anne O'Keeffe
By Michael McCarthy
By Ronald Carter
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year: 2007
Online Publication Date:December 2009
Chapter DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511497650.004
In Chapter 2, although we focused primarily on single words, we also made occasional mention of the status of chunks as an element of the lexical competence of Successful Users of English (SUEs) (see chapter 1), noting that some chunks (e.g. a couple of, at the moment, all the time) were every bit as frequent as ordinary, everyday single words such as possible, alone, fun, expensive. Our argument was that, ideally, corpus information on chunks should be dovetailed into the information on single words in order to get a full picture of what needs to be learnt at the various levels of vocabulary attainment.
The title of this chapter is ambiguous. Corpus analysis, as we have seen, is relatively easy and straightforward when the computer is asked to search for and list single words. However, when we expand our search criteria to look for recurrences of more than one word (i.e. pairs and trios of words and even larger groupings), things become more complicated, and there are lessons to be learned about how we describe the vocabulary of a language, as well as implications for what teachers teach in their vocabulary lessons and how learners approach the task of acquiring vocabulary and developing fluency. But first we shall consider how the traditional view of vocabulary, where vocabulary means all the single words of a language, has changed over the years, especially in light of corpus analysis.
Reference Type: bibliography