Incorporating corpus technology to facilitate learning of English collocations in a Thai university EFL writing course
Kwanjira Chatpunnarangsee, Indiana University, United States
Indiana University . Awarded
The purpose of this study is to explore ways of incorporating web-based concordancers for the purpose of teaching English collocations. A mixed-methods design utilizing a case study strategy was employed to uncover four specific dimensions of corpus use by twenty-four students in two classroom sections of a writing course at a university in Thailand. First, differences in students' performances in collocation recognition and use were examined between their pre-and post-tests. Second, the students' problem-solving processes were investigated while they were analyzing corpus data. Third, their views regarding the use of corpus data as a linguistic reference were probed. Finally, the teachers' perceptions toward using corpus consultation to improve students' editing abilities were investigated.
The corpus-based lessons were implemented during a time in which the students were being taught to edit their writing. The teachers highlighted mis-collocated words on the students' written assignments and had them search for correct collocations using the web-concordancers. Concordancing worksheets were provided for the students' practice. To probe how the students analyze corpus data, twelve students from three different English proficiency levels were chosen to perform think-aloud tasks. To elicit the students' views, the questionnaire and written reflection techniques were utilized with all twenty-four student participants; in addition, the focus-group interview technique was utilized with the twelve focal student participants. The pre-test and post-test were also administered to examine whether any change had taken place in the students' scores. To obtain teachers' perspectives, interview protocols and class observations were conducted.
The pre-test and post-test findings show that approximately 91% of the students demonstrated an improvement in their scores. The think-aloud results suggest that English proficiencies were the most important factor influencing the students' ability to infer correct collocations from the corpus data. The overall results using surveys, written reflections, and interview transcripts indicate that the participants were aware of both advantages and disadvantages in the use of concordancing; however, their favorable views appeared to carry more weight than their unfavorable opinions. The teachers viewed concordancing activities as useful tools for improving students' editing abilities. Finally, the study offers pedagogical and future research recommendations
Chatpunnarangsee, K. Incorporating corpus technology to facilitate learning of English collocations in a Thai university EFL writing course. Ph.D. thesis, Indiana University.
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