Corpus consultation for ESP

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Corpus linguistics is commonly concerned with language description, but the tools and techniques can also be used by language learners themselves in what has come to be known as data-driven learning or DDL (Johns & King 1991). This paper reviews 20 studies representing empirical evaluations of corpus use by second or foreign language users within the context of ESP. The wide variety of tools, corpora, course objectives, experiment designs and research questions makes a thorough meta-analysis impossible. However, analysis of the individual papers shows that students can use corpora successfully for ESP and are generally favourable to the approach, whether as a learning tool (especially for vocabulary and lexico-grammar) or as a reference resource (especially for writing). Keywords: data-driven learning; corpus consultation; language learning; empirical evidence; learning outcomes


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