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  • 1.
    Allan, Rachel
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Humanities.
    At the end of the day… An ELF perspective on lexical chunks in spoken business English.2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Since Sinclair (1991) identified “the idiom principle”, lexical chunks, i.e. frequently occurring clusters of words, have been recognized as an important part of language learning. This importance has been highlighted as advances in computer software have made it easier to identify patterns in language use, and most published English teaching materials are now informed by the analysis of large corpora of native speaker language. However, given that the most widespread use of English language throughout the world takes the form of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF), i.e. English used as a common means of communication among speakers from different first-language backgrounds, there is a strong argument for examining the lexical chunks used in this context when considering students’ needs.

     

    This study uses VOICE (the Vienna-Oxford International Corpus of English), a corpus of spoken ELF interactions, to examine the occurrence of language chunks in ELF in the professional domain. A subcorpus of VOICE comprising of occurring in the professional domain (business, organizational and research contexts) was created, representing approximately 830,000 tokens of transcribed oral text. Recurring lexical chunks were identified using Wordsmith Tools (Scott 2012), and categorized according to type and function. The types of lexical chunk occurring most frequently proved to be vague expressions, e.g. “and so on” and discourse markers such as “at the end of the day”. The pedagogical implications of these findings are considered, concerning whether and how published materials might be supplemented to better meet the needs of those students who expect to use English in an ELF context. 

  • 2.
    Allan, Rachel
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Humanities. Mittuniversitetet.
    Concordances versus dictionaries: Evaluating approaches to word learning in ESOL2010In: Insights into non-native vocabulary teaching and learning / [ed] R. Chacón-Beltrán, C. Abello-Contesse, M. Mar Torreblanca-López & M. Dolores López-Jiménez, Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, 2010, p. 112-126Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 3.
    Allan, Rachel
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Humanities.
    From Do You Know to I Don’t Know: An Analysis of the Frequency and Usefulness of Lexical Bundles in Five English Language Self-Study Books2017In: Corpus Pragmatics, ISSN 2509-9507, Vol. 1, no 4, p. 351-372Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Knowing which phrases to use in everyday situations is a key part of communicating effectively in English, and increasingly language learning materials are expected to reflect this. This paper presents a corpus analysis of five contemporary self-study books for English language learners, to identify common phrases taught, assess their form and function, and evaluate them against a baseline of lexical bundles (i.e. recurring sequences of words) used in social situations by users of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF). Self-study textbooks aim to equip the learner with enough English to function appropriately in a range of different contexts; they usually present language in the form of dialogues in common everyday situations, often supplemented with exercises, grammar explanations and glossaries. While they may differ in pedagogical approach, it could be anticipated that the lexical bundles found would be broadly similar. However, analysis of this corpus showed a lack of consistency both in the form and number of bundles found in the different publications. Furthermore, comparison with a corpus of ELF conversations extracted from the Vienna-Oxford International Corpus of English (VOICE, version 2.0 XML) (2013) highlighted the underrepresentation of lexical bundles with certain pragmatic functions, such as hedges/stance expressions (I don’t know, I think) and vague language (a little bit).

  • 4.
    Allan, Rachel
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Humanities. Mittuniversitetet.
    Lexical bundles from one century to the next: An analysis of language input in English teaching texts2016Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Allan, Rachel
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Humanities.
    Lexical bundles from one century to the next: An analysis of language input in English teaching texts2018In: Journal of Historical Pragmatics, ISSN 1566-5852, E-ISSN 1569-9854, Vol. 19, no 2, p. 167-185Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This corpus study compares lexical bundles found in the language input of a selection of historical and current English language teaching materials to see what insights they can give into changes in spoken language use. English teaching texts published between 1905 and 1917 were used to construct a historical corpus, and a collection of English language self-study texts published between 2004 and 2014 were used for comparison. Both groups of texts focused on spoken language. The most frequent three-word lexical bundles extracted from each corpus varied considerably. The contemporary texts showed both a greater use of formulaic language and more syntactic complexity within it, while the historical texts relied on simpler structures. An exploratory analysis of the lexical bundles in the historical texts suggests, however, that viewed in conjunction with other historical sources, they can assist in building a picture of spoken language use of the period.

  • 6.
    Allan, Rachel
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Humanities.
    Lexical Bundles in ELF Business Meetings2016In: The Linguistics Journal, ISSN 1718-2301, Vol. 10, no 1, p. 141-163Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is widely accepted that lexical bundles can provide useful insights into the characteristics of different types of discourse. However, studies have tended to focus on native speaker or language learner use, and English as a Lingua Franca (ELF), English used as a common means of communication among speakers from different first-language backgrounds, has received limited attention in this respect. Given that ELF is widely used in a business context, the research reported in this paper is an initial attempt to characterize ELF used in one business community of practice by identifying the frequency and function of lexical bundles in a small corpus of ELF business meetings. It draws on a subcorpus of business meeting transcripts from the Vienna-Oxford Corpus of English (VOICE) to identify the most frequent two-, three- and four-word bundles used, and compares these to lexical bundles used in ELF in other domains and in ENL business meetings (Handford, 2010). Results showed similar levels of use of frequent bundles in ELF business meetings to the comparative data, and a high degree of overlap. Many of the bundles used in ELF business meetings were the same as those used in general contexts, suggesting that there are there are stable core features in spoken ELF, although key bundles indicated certain differences. Furthermore, a number of the ELF business bundles corresponded to frequent ENL bundles. Many of the bundles used in ELF business meetings were associated with developing relationships, such as providing verbal feedback (yeah yeah yeah, mhm mhm mhm) hedging (I don’t know, I think that), and making interpersonal references (you know, you can see), and vague expressions (more or less, and so on) were also common. Idiomatic expressions tended to be avoided, with the exception of at the end of (the day) which had a high frequency in ELF, as in ENL business meetings.

  • 7.
    Allan, Rachel
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Humanities.
    Lexical bundles in English language teaching texts: A century of change?2016Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 8.
    Allan, Rachel
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Humanities. Mittuniversitetet.
    Lexical bundles in graded readers: To what extent does language restriction affect lexical patterning?2016In: System An International Journal of Educational Technology and Applied Linguistics, ISSN 0346-251X, Vol. 59, p. 61-72Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study examines how far the lexical bundles that occur in graded readers are influenced by simplified language, comparing them quantitatively and qualitatively with those occurring in a corpus of authentic prose fiction. Phrasal language found in the graded readers is also evaluated using Martinez and Schmitt’s (2012) PHRASE list. The results are largely encouraging, showing that lexical bundles occur with greater density in graded readers than authentic fiction, that they largely reflect authentic language use, and that most of the phrases deemed to be important and useful are represented. However, differences between B1 and B2 level readers indicate that a higher degree of simplification affects both the range and grammatical type of lexical bundles. Non-transparent lexical bundles, despite being composed of very frequent words, were under-represented in the readers, particularly at B1 level. It is concluded that while graded readers are a valuable source of exposure to lexical bundles, the under-representation of frequently-used opaque phrases points to the need for a more systematic approach to their inclusion.

  • 9.
    Allan, Rachel
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Humanities.
    Lexical Chunks in Business English as a Lingua Franca2014Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 10.
    Allan, Rachel
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Humanities. Mittuniversitetet.
    Recycling the data: Building and using a learner business English writing corpus2018In: Call Your Data: Proceedings of the XIXth CALL Conference / [ed] Josef Colpaert, Ann Aerts & Frederik Cornillie, Antwerp, 2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper describes the construction and use of a small corpus of business English writing by Swedish university students to form the basis of a "learning driven data" (Seidlhofer, 2002) approach to their studies in business writing. Course assignments were used to construct a small corpus which was analysed from a lexical perspective in relation to the Business Service List (BSL) (Browne & Culligan, 2016) and an online Business Letter Corpus (BLC) to identify errors and gaps in knowledge. The findings were then used to inform course content and form the basis for tasks using the learner corpus, which will be integrated into the course structure to provide opportunities for data-driven learning. This study contributes to the growing number of pedagogic applications of learner corpora, demonstrating an approach that could be adapted to a range of other learning contexts.

  • 11.
    Allan, Rachel
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Humanities. Mittuniversitetet.
    The ELT Archive Textbook Corpus: How much has language teaching changed?2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This presentation describes and demonstrates some potential uses of a historical English Language Teaching (ELT) corpus, using a small pilot corpus of intermediate level ELT textbooks from the 1960s. There have been few systematic and objective historical accounts of language teaching methods and materials (Smith 2015: 84), and the history of ELT has typically been presented as a rather simplified ‘procession of methods’, with an emphasis on their difference than any similarities (Howatt and Smith 2014: 76). Here I will explore some ways in which a corpus-based approach can contribute to our knowledge in this area. The 1960s have been identified as a starting point for the corpus as a range of methodological influences were present in ELT in this decade. The books in the pilot have been selected to reflect this, including courses which situate themselves within structural, audiolingual and situational teaching paradigms. From the corpus, we can identify task-types, examine instructions and target language, and use this data to gain insights into the pedagogical approaches in use. The 1960s corpus is a pilot for a larger project that aims to investigate twentieth century English Language Teaching (ELT) materials diachronically. With the co-operation of the ELT Archive at Warwick University (see https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/al/research/collections/elt_archive/), we aim to digitize a range of representative ELT textbooks from several decades of the last century, and build a corpus through which language teaching methods and language taught can be explored and compared.

     

    Howatt, A.P.R. and R. Smith. 2014. “The History of Teaching English as a Foreign Language, from a British and European Perspective.” Language and History 57 (1): 75-95.

    Smith, Richard. 2015. “Building ‘Applied Linguistic Historiography’: Rationale, Scope, and Methods.” Applied Linguistics 37 (1): 71–87. doi:10.1093/applin/amv056.

  • 12.
    Rachel, Allan
    University College Dublin, Ireland..
    Can a graded corpus provide 'authentic' input?2009In: ELT Journal, ISSN 0951-0893, E-ISSN 1477-4526, Vol. 63, no 1, p. 23-32Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In addition to their intended purpose, graded reader texts can be made into a corpus appropriate for use with lower-level learners. Here I consider using such a corpus for data-driven learning (DDL), to make this approach more accessible to intermediate level students. However, how far does grading the corpus in this way compromise the authenticity of the language learners are exposed to? The simplified nature of such corpora may limit learners' exposure to lexical chunks, which are fundamental to the acquisition of natural and fluent language. This paper compares lexical chunks in graded corpora and the British National Corpus, examining frequency, type, and composition, to evaluate the ‘authenticity’ of graded input. Despite some differences, it is argued that the scale and type of lexical chunks are sufficient to provide input that reflects authentic language, suggesting that graded readers may offer an acceptable balance of accessibility and authenticity.

  • 13.
    Walker, Terry
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Humanities.
    Allan, Rachel
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Humanities.
    Bridging the gap between university and upper secondary school English studies: The ULE project2018In: ICAME Journal/International Computer Archive of Modern English, ISSN 0801-5775, E-ISSN 1502-5462, Vol. 42, no 1, p. 191-212Article in journal (Refereed)
1 - 13 of 13
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  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
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