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Abstract

In this seminar, Prof Yukio Tono will report on the CEFR-J project and how corpora are used for selecting criterial language features for characterizing CEFR levels. The CEFR-J project aims to localise the CEFR in the context of English language teaching in Japan. We replicated the construction and scaling of illustrative descriptors, in the same way as the original CEFR, and published a set of 100 validated Can Do descriptors as the CEFR-J Can Do list (Tono, 2012). These CEFR-J descriptors were used as one of the references in revising the CEFR itself in the Companion Volume (2020). The project went on to conduct so-called “Reference Level Descriptions (RLDs),” whose purpose was to identify lexical, grammatical and textual features representing each of the CEFR-J levels. We aimed to develop a valid method of profiling CEFR levels using both course book corpora as input and learner corpora as output. Currently, we are working with a group of teachers at primary and secondary schools to use the CEFR-J resources to teach English and examine how learning takes place in the learning environment supported by the CEFR-J descriptors and their accompanying resources. At the same time, all the related textual data such as the textbooks used in the school, the classroom discourse, students’ group and pair work, students’ final spoken or written proficiency tests are being made into corpus data in order to closely examine the changes taking place as the support and intervention using the CEFR-J resources will fundamentally change teachers’ perspectives of teaching as well as actual students’ outcomes. 

About the presenter

Professor Yukio Tono is a professor in corpus linguistics at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Japan. Their research interest is corpus applications for SLA and foreign language learning. Currently, Professor Yukio Tono is working on how to integrate corpus approaches with CEFR-based research.

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), 12pm (UK)