How to create corpus-based materials for classroom use?

You have been exposed to information that has provided a general introduction to some selected corpora, concordance tools, and corpus tools in the previous section. In this section, you will be given a four-step guidelines on designing corpus-driven materials for use in the language classroom. It can help you gain the knowledge and skills for creating classroom materials and step to a corpus-based approach with confidence.

Test students’ knowledge

Show students some concordance lines (from learner corpus data) that contain errors from learner corpus data or alternatively choose lexical errors in your students’ writing. Ask them to detect the lexical errors.

Hands-on corpus searches by students

Ask them to search for real language patterns using native speakers’ corpus data.

Inductive discovery by students

Ask them to observe the language and summarise the language patterns

Output exercise

Finally, ask them to practise using the correct language patterns orally or in writing.

A variety of interactive activities can help you create an active learning atmosphere, such as problem-based learning, team-based learning, collaborative-based learning, think-pair-share cooperative learning.


Design principles of corpus-based learning and teaching activities for vocabulary

Start with a concrete word or phrase

Do initial searches by yourself and summarise the patterns of use

Choose a corpus that is suitable for your student level

Design some learning activities based on the patterns of use

Keep the instructions simple and easy to follow

From simple to complex

From guided control to allowing students free exploration

Try to make students interact with the corpus or with each other

Put the vocabulary items into use (in speaking or writing)

For more hands-on practices on creating corpus-based materials for use in the language classroom, please refer to our Teaching Activities.