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ERIC Number: EJ1078934
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1814-9448
The Development of a Corpus-Based Tool for Exploring Domain-Specific Collocational Knowledge in English
Huang, Ping-Yu; Chen, Chien-Ming; Tsao, Nai-Lung; Wible, David
Taiwan Journal of TESOL, v12 n2 p117-141 2015
Since it was published, Coxhead's (2000) Academic Word List (AWL) has been frequently used in English for academic purposes (EAP) classrooms, included in numerous teaching materials, and re-examined in light of various domain-specific corpora. Although well-received, the AWL has been criticized for ignoring some important facts that words still tend to show irregular distributions and are used in different ways across disciplines (Hyland & Tse, 2007). One such difference concerns collocations. Academic words (e.g. "analyze" and "concept") often co-occur with different words across domains and sometimes even refer to different meanings. What EAP students need, accordingly, is a "discipline-based lexical repertoire" (Hyland & Tse, p.235). Inspired by Hyland & Tse's insightful remarks, we developed an online corpus-based tool, "TechCollo," which is meant for EAP students to explore collocational knowledge in a domain or compare collocations across disciplines. TechCollo runs on textual data stored in three specialized corpora and utilizes frequency and some information-theoretical measures (e.g. mutual information) to decide whether co-occurring word pairs constitute collocations. In this article we describe the current version of TechCollo and how to use it in EAP studies. Particularly, we report a pilot study in which we employed TechCollo to investigate whether the AWL words take different collocates in different domain-specific corpora. This pilot basically confirmed Hyland & Tse's indications and demonstrated that many AWL words show uneven distributions and collocational differences across disciplines.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A