Using a Free Corpus Tool for Time-efficient Feedback on English as a Foreign Language reports

Authors

  • Ana Isabel Martínez Hernández

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.26754/ojs_misc/mj.20227356

Keywords:

corpus-based analysis, English-language classroom, writing skills, text analysis, report-writing

Abstract

English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners often struggle with some of the elements and features of text composition, such as conventions, socio-cultural aspects like hedging, degree of formality or synonyms. This paper aims to provide, by way of exemplification, the application of a corpus-aided technique that helps teachers determine whether general task completion has been achieved in order to identify learners’ deficiencies in writing. This method was employed to consider lexical range (i.e. synonyms), cohesive devices and hedging strategies, including modal verbs, in the participants’ written outputs, a total of 93, in a higher education EFL classroom. To this end, the tool LexTutor (Cobb n.d.) was used to explore the corpus. The data gathered have been analysed following a quantitative approach. Findings indicate that, on average, learners’ productions met the indications in the instructions. Nevertheless, there was a tendency to use lower-level or simpler structures and words rather than opting for language exploration, thus prioritising accuracy. The present study raises the possibility that EFL teachers can offer general class feedback on students’ productions promptly and efficiently.

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Published

2022-12-13

Issue

Section

ARTICLES: Language and linguistics