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).


Workshop Series - English-Chinese Parallel

Topic 1: English-Chinese Parallel Corpus for Language Studies

To provide opportunities for teachers to explore new ways of English language teaching and support them to 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: 10-Nov- 2017 (Fri)

TIME: 15:30 - 17:30 pm

VENUE: D4-G/F-05A, Tai Po Campus, The Education University of Hong

Abstract

In this workshop, an English-Chinese parallel corpus developed at the EdUHK will be introduced to help teachers and students to understand the value of parallel texts in language teaching and learning. The workshop will demonstrate how learning materials can be developed based on the parallel corpus data to help language learners to compare the English and Chinese language systems, and gain a better understanding of the two languages through comparative language studies.

Summary

Parallel concordancing allows us to place side by side for comparison two contexts produced for a given item - phrase, word, or morpheme - one being a translation of the other. It has many uses in translation studies and in translation pedagogy, such as in the compilation of bilingual dictionaries. Yet large-scale English-Chinese corpus remains unknown to the majority of the teaching community. In this workshop, Dr. Wang Lixun drew the attention of participants specifically to his self-developed English-Chinese Parallel Corpus (http://corpus.eduhk.hk/paraconc/) and explained how this parallel concordancing in English and Chinese contributes to the success of a language teaching class.

Dr. Wang explained the concept of ‘English-Chinese Parallel Corpus’ and how to use parallel concordancing in language teaching, specifically in its use as a form of making learners aware of the differences between English and Chinese. He addressed the basic skills for using the parallel corpus and introduced parallel corpus-based English-Chinese comparative searches at three levels:

  • At the lexical level
  • At the syntactical level
  • At the discourse level

He explained the lexical level with ample and vivid examples, such as ‘Good vs. 好’, ‘Now vs. 现在’. For the syntactic level, he provided a vivid explanation by sharing his previous students' research on the differences in marking the passive voice in English and Chinese using the parallel corpus, along with student’s reflections on the corpus-based work. He shared other students' research on the differences in Information structure between English and Chinese.

Dr. Wang further elaborated the pedagogical Applications of the English-Chinese Parallel Corpus for:

1. Raising language awareness (Data-driven learning)
2. Overcoming cultural difference
3. Using translation studies
4. Benefiting teachers with limited command of the L2
5. Facilitating self-study of a foreign language
6. Easily creating teaching materials

Also, he explained and demonstrated how learning materials can be developed based on the parallel corpus data to help language learners compare the English and Chinese language systems. At the end, participants were given direct experience of the parallel corpus by a series of connected tutorial tasks.


Topic 2: English-Chinese Parallel Corpus for Language Studies

DATE: 27-Mar-2018 (Tue)

TIME: 14:30-16:30 pm

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

Abstract

Traditionally, in English language lessons in China, only English texts are used, and materials based on English-Chinese parallel texts are largely ignored. In this workshop, an English-Chinese parallel corpus developed at the Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK) will be introduced to help teachers and students to understand the value of parallel texts in language teaching and learning. The workshop will demonstrate how learning materials can be developed based on the parallel corpus data to help language learners to compare the English and Chinese language systems, and gain a better understanding of the two languages through comparative language studies.

Biography

Dr. Wang Lixun is Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Modern Language Studies at the Education University of Hong Kong. His main research interests include corpus linguistics, English for Academic Purposes, Computer-assisted Language Learning (CALL), and multilingual education. He is the author of ‘Introduction to Language Studies’ (2011), ‘Trilingual Education in Hong Kong Primary Schools’ (2018), and co-author of ‘Academic Writing in Language and Education Programmes’ (2011).


Workshop Series - Pronunciation

Topic 1: Using a Self-developed Learners’ Corpus for English Pronunciation Teaching and Learning

To provide opportunities for teachers to explore new ways of English language teaching and support them to 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: 24-Nov- 2017 (Fri)

TIME: 15:30 - 17:30 pm

VENUE: D4-G/F-05A, Tai Po Campus, The Education University of Hong

Abstract

In this workshop, a corpus-based pronunciation learning system will be introduced to help English learners and teachers to (1) identify Chinese learners’ recurrent segmental (vowels and consonants) and suprasegmental (lexical stress, pausing, linking, and intonation) difficulties in learning English pronunciation, and (2) suggest possible remedies that may reduce such difficulties. The use of learner corpora in two levels of teacher training courses in the EdUHK will be introduced and discussed.

Summary

Pronunciation, as an essential part of teaching and learning English, is more difficult than people imagine because it is hard to mark down the difference in pronunciation without IPA. Thus, Dr. Chen showed the participants how to teach IPA and use spoken corpora as a resource to find out common mistakes of Chinese students compared with native speakers. She explained the advantages of using her self-developed spoken corpus the aim of which is to identify Chinese students’ recurrent difficulties in English pronunciation. She also provided possible remedies to reduce the difficulties. How to make use of the corpus-based learning website has been put forward for:

  • Undergraduates: self-access learning activities
  • Teaching training programme (e.g. PGDE/MATESOL students): to collect and analyze the authentic data
  • Frontline Teachers: to use the corpus-informed pronunciation teaching resources and pronunciation practice in their class

In addition to this, Dr. Chen shared three corpus-based lesson plans designed by school teachers at both the primary and secondary levels. She further elaborated the pedagogical applications of the learners’ corpus through inviting one of her student teachers to share his self-designed teaching plan involving the spoken corpus. The student teacher illustrated how he made use of the corpus to teach pronunciation items:

  • Teaching Schwa with the corpus
  • Teaching Linking with the corpus
  • Teaching Stress and Rhyme with the corpus

Dr. Rebecca concluded with specifying the pedagogical applications of her learners’ corpus.


Topic 2: Using a Corpus-aided Approach to Learn English Pronunciation

DATE: 24-Apr-2018 (Tue)

TIME: 16:00-17:30

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

Abstract

In language learning, applying learner corpora could be more effective than using native corpora because learners are provided with more opportunities to discover distinctive errors produced by learners of a specific language background through learner corpora. By observing the most frequent and typical errors of learners, students might become more aware of the features of their own interlanguage and possibly stimulate a restructuring of their own language use and knowledge. Therefore, an annotated learner spoken corpus could be an effective tool for pronunciation learning. In this workshop, I will share my corpus-based pronunciation learning system which was established to help learners and teachers to (a) identify Hong Kong and mainland Chinese learners’ recurrent segmental and supra-segmental difficulties in learning English pronunciation, and (b) suggest possible remedies that may reduce such difficulties and enhance intra and inter- cultural communication. Several sets of ready-made, corpus-aided English pronunciation lesson plans and teaching materials will be provided to introduce the corpus-aided teaching and learning approach for learners at different levels.

Biography

Dr. Rebecca Chen is Assistant Professor at the Education University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include inter-language phonology, experimental phonetics and computer assisted pronunciation learning. Recently Dr. Chen and her research team have completed the construction of three publicly accessible corpus-based pronunciation learning websites: Using self-developed learners’ corpora for pronunciation learning and teaching: English, Mandarin and Japanese. (http://pronunciationlearning.my-free.website/)


Workshop Series - Grammar

Topic 1: A Data-driven Approach to Grammar Teaching and Learning

To provide opportunities for teachers to explore new ways of English language teaching and support them to 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: 09-Dec- 2017 (Sat)

TIME: 10:30 am - 12:30 pm

VENUE: B4-LP- 20, Tai Po Campus, The Education University of Hong

Abstract

Students have been taught a large number of prescriptive grammar rules in English classes. Examples include “you should use ‘few’ before a plural noun and ‘less’ before a mass noun; “the preposition following ‘different’ should be ‘from’; and “you must use ‘between’ for two entities and ‘among’ for more than two entities”. These rules are embraced whole-heartedly by some teachers whose understanding of grammar is based primarily on structure rather than function. If their students do not follow the prescriptive rules, they are likely to be given a big red cross. The workshop will help you distinguish between “deterministic” grammar and “probabilistic” grammar. It will show you how to use corpus data to help students find out what forms are most likely to occur in particular contexts of use, and how speakers and writers make grammar choices to create meanings.


Topic 2: Motivating Students to Learn Grammar through Discovery Learning

DATE: 24-Apr-2018 (Tue)

TIME: 14:30-16:00 pm

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

Abstract

A common phenomenon of a number of grammar practice books is the adoption of a deductive approach to grammar learning. The target grammar item is studied and rules are presented before exercises, which are usually in the form of: (1) discrete, uncontextualised sentences, (2) gap-fills and (3) manipulation of the base form of a lexical item provided in brackets. This deductive approach caters for analytic learners but not the learners who favour inductive learning and view mechanical exercises as boring. It is important for teachers and grammar book authors to employ different teaching approaches to broaden students’ learning styles and to cater for their needs. In this workshop, we will discuss how to make grammar learning more enjoyable and motivating by engaging learners’ brains more. You will learn how to design consciousness-raising activities with real language data to help your students find out the target language forms and how to create meanings through different grammar choices.

Biography

Dr. Jackie Lee is Associate Professor at the Education University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include grammar teaching, language and gender, experiential learning and teacher education. She has had articles published in prestigious journals such as Sex Roles, Gender and Education, Teaching and Teacher Education and System.