New Weekly Working Group on using Corpora in Language Pedagogy and Linguistic Research

From Steven Clancy, Academic Director of the U of C’s Center for the Study of Languages :

I am organizing a weekly working group on using electronic language texts (i.e., corpora) in language pedagogy and linguistic research. This will be an informal and hands-on continuation of our 2008 weeklong workshop on this topic and some of the topics I cover in my corpus linguistics class. We will learn how to use the open-source program R (http://www.r-project.org/) to organize and process electronic texts and make these resources available for your students, courses, or research.

Among possible topics will be:
1) how to create vocabulary lists and frequency lists from web pages, novels, poems, stories, that will be read in a course
2) how to annotate electronic texts with reference to vocabulary or characters that have been covered in your classes at various levels or throughout the year
3) how to create collocate lists
4) how to account for words and categories with multiple meanings or to distinguish near synonyms
5) and more…

Early on, I’d especially like to resolve any issues there may be with different orthographies and being able to process and search large amounts of text in the languages you work with. And I’d like to hear more about what things you’d like to learn to do. We’ll teach everything from scratch, but I’ll try to make modules that will limit things to the major tasks you’d like to learn how to deal with and then we can learn how to go beyond that if you need to or wish to. Please feel free to send along any suggestions for topics.
The tentative plan would be to present a specific task or application each week and teach you how to do that, then to provide hands on work and individual help to the participants for specific interests you have. If you missed a session, you could make up some topics during this time.
If you are interested, please let me know and I will add your name to the list of participants. I just sent out a separate message to the people who have already let me know they are interested. If you thought you’d already given me your name, but didn’t get that message, please let me know again and I’ll add you to the list.
Steven Clancy can be reached at sclancy [at] uchicago.edu.
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