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Powerpoint slides from the seminar are available, click to view here.


Speaker: Tove Larsson is an Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics at Northern Arizona University in the US. She is also affiliated with Uppsala University (Sweden) and University of Louvain (Belgium).

She specializes in corpus linguistics, register variation, and L2 writing. She also has a keen interest in research methodology. Her work appears in the International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory, and Journal of English for Academic Purposes. Her most recent book is a co-authored volume titled Doing linguistics with a corpus: Methodological considerations for the everyday user (Egbert, Larsson, & Biber, CUP, 2020). 

Title: On the perils of opaque measures and methods: Toward increased transparency 

Abstract: As researchers and teachers, we often find ourselves having to make certain compromises vis-à-vis our ideal plan of conduct in order to ensure manageability and feasibility of a project. Concretely, we may, for example, choose measures and methods (a) out of convenience and/or (b) for lack of better options given our current skillset, rather than (c) based on theory and best-practice guidelines. Oftentimes, (a) or (b) entail the use of electronic tools created by tool developers. While there are many helpful tools out there, some of the more commonly used ones in the field have certain issues related, for example, to the lack of transparency with regard to how the measures are operationalized (see, e.g., Egbert, Larsson, & Biber, 2020). Other times, we, as researchers and teachers, may be the source of such opaqueness, due to, for example, time and word limitations. 

In this presentation, I will talk about the importance (i) of critically examining the measures and methods we use, and (ii) of working toward increased transparency for said measures and methods. In raising questions related to these issues, I aim to contribute to the ongoing discussion in the field of how we can work toward increased transparency. Specifically, the talk covers discussion of issues related to the interpretability of omnibus measures, T-unit-based measures, and lacking transparency in reporting practices. 


Time zones: Tuesday 8 March at 7am (Brisbane), Monday 7 March at 6pm (Sao Paulo), Monday 7 March at 9pm (UK)

About International Perspectives on Corpus Technology for Language Learning - Seminar Series

Given the challenges to language education posed by COVID-19, increasing collaborative development in online pedagogies and resources ensures continuity of language education throughout the pandemic, while preparing students to succeed in an uncertain post-COVID-19 world. This seminar series is a global initiative spanning multiple time zones, with participants from Brazil, the UK, the USA, France, Poland and Australia, discussing the latest applications of language corpora for (language) learning. Topics include the use of corpora for language education, corpus pragmatics, text analytics for classroom use, data-driven learning, and much more, with a range of famous international speakers.

If you would like to present or have any queries about the CORPUS Seminar series, please contact Peter Crosthwaite.

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The seminars will take place in the following time zones: 9pm (Brisbane), 8am (Sao Paulo), 11am (UK)