Evaluating the effect of data-driven learning (DDL) on the acquisition of academic collocations by Chinese learners of English

Liu, Tanjun and Gablasova, Dana and McEnery, Tony (2020) Evaluating the effect of data-driven learning (DDL) on the acquisition of academic collocations by Chinese learners of English. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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Collocations, prefabricated multi-word combinations, are considered to be a crucial component of language competence which indicates the central role they should play in language teaching and learning (e.g., Nesselhauf, 2005). However, collocations remain a challenge to L2 learners at different proficiency levels, present a particular difficulty to Chinese learners of English (cf. Granger & Bestgen, 2014). Corpora, as a valuable source of reliable information about language, are a potentially useful source of evidence in language pedagogy. The pedagogical applications of corpora can be realised through direct corpus-based data-driven learning (DDL). Although DDL represents an approach that has been argued to offer an effective teaching method for the acquisition of academic collocations and hence may be beneficial to learners (e.g., Nesseulhauf, 2005), a DDL approach has so far not become a mainstream teaching practice and it is mostly conducted through activities based on either hands-on or paper-based concordance line; this highlights the need to explore the effect of using new corpus tools, beyond simple concordancing (Vyatkina & Boulton, 2017). This study, therefore, investigates the effectiveness of DDL by using a new corpus tool, #LancsBox (Brezina, McEnery & Wattam, 2015). This study used data from 100 Chinese students of English from a Chinese university and employed a quasiexperimental method, using a pre-test-and-post-test (including a delayed test) controlgroup research design to compare the achievement of the use of DDL and a corpus- based collocations dictionary with a control group in teaching academic collocations to the Chinese EFL learners. Results showed that the DDL approach was effective in improving Chinese EFL learners’ both receptive and productive knowledge of collocations. Learners’ attitudes indicated that the majority of learners were satisfied with using the DDL approach in collocation learning while writing and believed corpus consultation, particularly by means of the concordances and collocation network, was very useful in collocations learning both receptively and productively. The findings suggested using corpus tool could facilitate learners’ collocations learning. They also contribute to the potential application of corpora and the new corpus tool into mainstream language learning classroom and providing guidance and materials for teachers wishing to implement the method in collocations learning.

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Thesis (PhD)
?? data-driven learning (ddl)collocationeap ??
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24 Feb 2020 09:10
Last Modified:
16 Jul 2024 05:50