Bridging the Gap from the Other Side: How Corpora Are Used by English Teachers in Norwegian Schools.
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionNordic Journal of English Studies (NJES). 2021, 20 (1), 1-35. https://doi.org/10.35360/njes.522
Researchers have written of ‘bridging the gap’ between corpus linguistics and teaching practice. This study focuses on in-service English teacher informants from Norwegian schools, to try to address the ‘gap’ from the teaching practice ‘side’, rather than from the linguist ‘side’ engaged in spreading corpus linguistics. The study collects data on teachers’ familiarity with corpus linguistics, what corpora are used for and how, and teachers’ views on the obstacles to corpus use. The research question is How are corpora used by in-service English teachers in Norwegian schools? The research design consists of an online questionnaire and follow-up interviews. The questionnaire was answered by 210 teachers, 34 of whom answered they had done some work with corpora. The interviews were with three corpus-using teachers. The corpora they used were GloWbE, SkELL, Netspeak and COCA. Teacher-corpus interaction was for reference and for creating vocabulary and varieties of English exercises, and pupil-corpus interaction was encouraged by two of the teachers. The obstacles to the use of corpora were identified as differences between school levels, usability, and lack of teacher need. In concluding remarks, it is suggested that a starting point for corpus use among teachers may be to teach the tools and methods that seem to be already working for in-service teachers.
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