This course aims to provide participants with an understanding of the theories, concepts and skills needed to develop, analyse, and use electronic text collections (corpora) of English. It thus offers both theoretical and practical perspectives on the topic, beginning with a brief introduction to the history of language corpora, then quickly moving on to identifying some of the basic practical skills needed to create and use corpora, all through hands-on computer practice. Participants will discover corpus-linguistic approaches to the collection, organisation and analysis of authentic written and spoken texts drawn from a variety of genres and purposes. Throughout the course, participants will be able to apply their knowledge and practical skills to critical reflection upon theoretical and pe-dagogical issues, principles, and techniques related to the use of language corpora for teaching and research. Topics will also include introductions to the orga-nisational principles of language resources, search tools and software for corpus research, the applicability of corpus data to pedagogical purposes, and the utility of corpora for language analysis and description, e.g. as an ideal basis for writing research papers or the dissertation.
Pre-requisites: basic computing abilities and strong interest in learning how to use (user-friendly) computer programs for linguistic analysis. Additional skills will be taught on the course at a relatively gentle pace.