Computer-ondersteund talenonderwijs
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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In the present article the author explains what concordancers are and what their contribution to language learning can be.A concordancer is a computer program that allows one to look for one or more keywords, prefixes or suffixes in contexts. It gives a listing of each occurrence of every word in a text where words are listed in a given order. The length of the contexts may be one or more lines. A concordancer is distinct from a dictionary in that it doesn't give information about word class, etymology, pronunciation and an example of every meaning of the word. A concordancer displays a word in the context that particular word appears in. So the contexts depend on the corpus the concordancer searches in.Concordancers can be used by teachers, students and writers of text books. Teachers can illustrate their grammatical explanation with contexts (examples). They can generateexercises for their students on the basis of the contexts e.g. for guessing the meaning of particular words or for deducing grammatical rules.Statistical information about the frequency of words can help textbook developers to see how often and where (new) words appear in the texts.Concordancers also have some limitations. The value of the concordance 'tool' is determined by the corpora it is based upon. The variety of texts in a corpus e.g. news-papers, transcriptions of the use of oral language and literature determine the variety of contexts. The requirements of a corpus depend on the educational objectives and the target group. The author describes a few possibilities to obtain corpora. Finally she warns against the relative authority of texts.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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