Incorporating Corpora

Language corpora began to inform the creation of textbooks and reference materials not long after the first electronic corpora became available in the 1960s.  The concept of Data-Driven Learning, the use of corpora in instructed second language acquisition, can be traced to the late 1980s.  Despite fifty years of use and a substantial body of literature showing their efficacy in the classroom, however, language corpora are far from a common pedagogical tool.  Indeed, teachers attempting to move from theory to praxis will find very few pedagogical manuals or user-friendly corpus tutorials, especially for languages other than English.

Incorporating Corpora will provide an online manual on the use of corpora to teach German to English-speaking learners.  It will include a brief overview of research in Data-Driven Learning, as well as guides for using corpora and a selection of corpus-based assignments to be piloted in KU German courses and revised using emic data (teacher and learner perceptions) gathered after their implementation.  The first iteration of the manual will be made available on a project website by the end of summer 2019 and will be the basis for a series of K-16 teacher workshops to be held on the KU Lawrence Campus, at Johnson County Community College and at Fort Hays State University.  Teachers participating in these workshops will explore the use of language corpora in language teaching and will be invited to submit their own activities for inclusion in the online manual.