Learner use of a corpus as a reference tool in error correction: Factors influencing consultation and success

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This study examines the use of the BYU-BNC (Davies, 2004) as a reference tool by learners to correct their written errors. The aim is to investigate which factors, including learner type and error type, prompted the use of the corpus, whether or not the corpus corrections were successful and what learner attitude was towards the corpus. The participants were twelve Chinese students preparing for postgraduate study at a British university by completing a six-week pre-sessional course. During the course, the learners received basic training in the use of the corpus interface and were periodically asked to revise short essays according to an error correction code. They were free to choose whether they employed their own knowledge to make revisions, or used the corpus, a dictionary or other source, with each method recorded. Interviews and surveys were also undertaken to investigate their perceptions of corpus use and its effectiveness. The results showed that reflective learners were less receptive to the use of the corpus and that whilst corpus consultation was largely limited to errors involving synonym choice, corrections were generally effective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-69
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of English for Academic Purposes
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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