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Enhancing writing pedagogy with learner corpus data

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 February 2014

Elena Cotos*
Iowa State University, USA (email:


Learner corpora have become prominent in language teaching and learning, enhancing data-driven learning (DDL) pedagogy by promoting ‘learning driven data’ in the classroom. This study explores the potential of a local learner corpus by investigating the effects of two types of DDL activities, one relying on a native-speaker corpus (NSC) and the second combining native-speaker and learner corpora. Both types of activities aimed at improving second language writers’ knowledge of linking adverbials and were based on a preliminary analysis of adverbial use in the local learner corpus produced by 31 study participants. Quantitative and qualitative data, obtained from writing samples, pre/post-tests, and questionnaires, were converged through concurrent triangulation. The results showed an increase in frequency, diversity and accuracy in all participants’ use of adverbials, but more significant improvement was made by the students who were exposed to the corpus containing their own writing. The findings of this study are thus interpreted as suggestive that combining learner and native-speaker data is a feasible and effective practice, which can be readily integrated in DDL-based instruction with positive impact.

Research Article
Copyright © European Association for Computer Assisted Language Learning 2014 

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