What Data for Data-Driven Learning?

Corpora have multiple affordances, not least for use by teachers and learners of a foreign language (L2) in what has come to be known as ‘data-driven learning’ or DDL. The corpus and concordance interface were originally conceived by and for linguists, so other users need to adopt the role of ‘language researcher’ to make the most of them. Despite the alleged advantages of this, it does create a potential barrier for occasional or non-specialist users in particular. While researchers debate the status of the ‘web-as-corpus’, the Internet represents a vast bank of data already familiar to most people; less discussed is the status of ‘Google-as-concordancer’ – another familiar tool. This paper discusses some of the advantages and disadvantages of this approach from a pedagogical perspective.

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