Workshop Series - Vocabulary

Topic 1: FUN with Words: Experiencing Corpus-based Vocabulary Teaching and Learning

To provide opportunities for teachers to explore new ways of English language teaching and help them adopt corpus-based approach in their teaching, a Knowledge Transfer (KT) Workshop Series was launched. The Series consisted of language skills covering lexis, grammar, phonology and translation. The Series also aims at equipping teachers with skills and tools to develop their own corpus-based teaching and learning materials.

DATE: 13-Oct- 2017 (Fri)

TIME: 14:30 - 16:30 pm

VENUE: D2-LP- 09, Tai Po Campus, The Education University of Hong

Abstract

Word knowledge and usage are more easily accessible through corpora than other traditional tools, such as dictionaries. This workshop will introduce some free online corpora to school teachers and provide guidance on how to explore corpus data and discover authentic use of vocabulary/collocations. Corpus-based vocabulary teaching materials/activities for both primary and secondary teachers are showcased. The design principles will also be unveiled.

Summary

The corpus-based approach allows language teachers to explore new insights into language teaching through various corpora and corpus activities. It provides opportunities for teachers to develop hands-on corpus-aided activities to solve their specific teaching difficulties. Yet there still seems to be a long way to go before corpora can be widely used by language teachers. Dr. Angel Ma shared her insights and experiences of how to design corpus-based Vocabulary Teaching and Learning activities in this workshop.

Dr. Ma began by exposing some frequent lexical errors made by Hong Kong students, and showcased a new way to provide them with unlimited authentic language data, namely, corpus data. After introducing a few key concepts of corpus linguistics to the participants, she addressed the basic skills on how to use some free online corpora and concordances such as Corpus Concordance English and Word and Phrase. She provided teacher participants with hands-on experience on how to explore corpus data and observe real language use patterns, such as finding collocations for the easily confused lexical pair “exercise” and “practice” by using Word and Phrase. She also shared corpus-based vocabulary teaching materials/activities for teacher participants and elaborated a four- step procedure for designing teaching/learning activities to help teacher participants create their own corpus-aided materials. At the end, group discussions were conducted for school teachers to practise corpus-based teaching. Dr. Ma also encouraged the participants to raise questions in the class and provided more practical information.


Topic 2. A Corpus-based Approach to English Senior Secondary School Students’ Lexical Skills in Writing

DATE: 09-Jan-2018 (Tue)

TIME: 15:00-17:00 pm

VENUE: The Houde Academy (厚德書院), 9 Guansheng 5th Road, Long Hua District, Shenzhen (zip code: 518110)

Abstract

Word knowledge and usage are more accessible through corpora than other traditional tools, such as dictionaries. This workshop will introduce some free online corpora to school teachers and provide guidance on how to explore corpus data and discover authentic use of vocabulary/collocations. Corpus-based vocabulary teaching/learning activities that aim to enhance the lexical skills of secondary school students in their writing will be showcased and unveiled.

Summary

The corpus-based approach allows language teachers to explore new insights of language teaching through various corpora and corpus activities. It provides opportunities for teachers to develop hands-on corpus-aided activities to solve their specific teaching difficulties. Yet there still seems to be a long way to go before corpora can be widely used by language teachers. In this workshop, Dr. Angel Ma showed how to utilize a corpus-based approach to enhance secondary students’ lexical skills in writing.

Dr. Angel Ma began by exposing some frequent lexical errors in writing made by Chinese students, and demonstrated how to provide students with unlimited authentic language data – corpus data – to help them discover authentic patterns of language use. After introducing some key concepts of corpus linguistics to participants, she addressed basic skills regarding how to use some free online corpora and concordances such as Corpus Concordance English and Word and Phrase to tackle a number of specific teaching difficulties on lexis encountered by teachers:

Query 1: How can we find the use pattern of the verb insist?
Query 2: How can we help students discover their errors in using connectors?
Query 3: Discovering collocations of practice and exercise.
Query 4: How can we help students distinguish synforms, especially word pairs containing –ic/-ical ?

She provided teacher participants with hands-on experience on how to explore corpus data and observe real language use patterns, e.g., how to discover discover the use of the connector however through Corpus Concordance English. Dr. Ma further explained how to use the function of Text Analysis of Word and Phrase to help students self-correct their own errors in writing.

She also shared corpus-based vocabulary teaching materials/activities for teacher participants and elaborated a four-step procedure for designing teaching/learning activities to help teacher participants create their own corpus-aided materials. To give participants a taste of how to design teaching and learning activities with corpora, group discussions were conducted for teacher participants to practise corpus searches and design their corpus-based materials.

Biography

Dr. Ma Qing is currently Assistant Professor at the Department of Linguistics and Modern Language Studies, The Education University of Hong Kong. Her main research interests include second language vocabulary acquisition, corpus linguistics, Chinese English, computer assisted language learning (CALL) and mobile assisted language learning (MALL).