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Autonomy in language learning, defined as ‘the ability to take charge of one’s own learning’ (Holec, 1979: 3), has long been considered one of the key beneficial outcomes of data-driven learning (DDL) (e.g. Aston, 2001; Johns, 1991). Nevertheless, Chen and Flowerdew (2018) still note the need for more research and practice to help students use corpora autonomously. Since learners’ ability to exercise autonomy is acquired rather than innate, teachers can play an important role in its development. Reinders (2010) outlines an eight-stage framework for the application of autonomous learning in the classroom, and recommends the involvement of the learner at each stage. To date, most DDL research has focused on the Practice stage, with little attention paid to preparatory or assessment stages. After a brief review of this literature, the seminar focuses on the use of do-it-yourself (DIY) corpora as an approach which enables student autonomy in both the selection and use of resources. I discuss students’ expressed intentions to use their DIY corpus autonomously in the future and contrast these data with their actual use a year later. I argue that more attention to the development of student autonomy, particularly in terms of helping students set realistic goals, plan and monitor their autonomous DDL could lead to increased corpus use over the long term. 

About the presenter

Dr Maggie Charles taught EAP at Oxford University for many years and currently works on the Cara EAP programme for exiled Syrian academics. Her main research interests are in the analysis of academic discourse and the use of corpora in EAP writing pedagogy. She has published widely in these areas, most recently in Journal of EAP, Applied Corpus Linguistics and The Routledge Handbook of Corpora and English Language Teaching and Learning. Books include Corpora in ESP/EAP Writing Instruction co-edited with Ana Frankenberg-Garcia (Routledge, 2021) and the textbook Introducing English for Academic Purposes, co-written with Diane Pecorari (Routledge, 2015). 

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)


Online via Zoom