The language learner as language researcher: Putting corpus linguistics on the timetable

Winnie Cheng, Martin John Warren, Xu Xun-Feng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes an attempt to make room for the subject Corpus Linguistics on the already packed timetable of an English language major undergraduate programme. We describe the rationale for bringing together two existing subjects, Information Technology and Discourse Analysis, for a period of time in order to more systematically and meaningfully introduce students to corpus-based language study in combination with 'data-driven learning' (Johns, T., 1991. Should you be persuaded: two samples of data-driven learning materials. In: Johns, T., King, P., (Eds.), Classroom Concordancing (English Language Research Journal 4). ELR, Birmingham, pp. 1-16.). The contents of the course are given, examples of the students' research studies described, along with an examination of the reactions of students and teachers to this learning and teaching development. We have found that it is both possible and worthwhile to add corpus linguistics to the curriculum. Both students and teachers felt that it enhanced the value of the two original subjects and fruitfully cast all of the participants in new roles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-186
Number of pages14
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2003


  • Corpus linguistics
  • Corpus-driven research
  • Data-driven learning
  • Discourse Analysis
  • Information Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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