Re: Corpora: corpus linguistics course and learning curve

From: François MANIEZ (
Date: Mon Mar 25 2002 - 10:05:01 MET

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    Dear Tony,

    thanks for those useful tips on where to find teaching resources. I would
    also add the TACT concordancing software to the list, as well as the Amalgam
    POS-tagger, to which you can e-mail texts to be tagged (there is a choice
    of eight different tagsets). It is available at

    Incidentally, a learning curve is a graph that depicts progress in the
    mastery of a skill against the time that it takes to master that skill, so
    that a "steep learning curve" actually describes a situation in which people
    learn quickly. It seems to be one of those expressions (other such
    expressions that come to mind are "I could care less", or the French "faire
    long feu") that are mostly used (including by native speakers) to convey an
    opposite meaning, probably because most people associate the word "steep"
    with the idea of a difficult task.


    François MANIEZ
    Centre de Recherche en Terminologie et en Traduction
    Département de Langues Étrangères Appliquées
    Université Lumière Lyon 2

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Tony Berber Sardinha" <>
    To: "corpora list - messages to list" <>
    Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 7:32 PM
    Subject: Re: Corpora: corpus linguistics course

    > Dear Beatrice
    > I've been giving Corpus Linguistics courses here in Brazil to non-native
    > speakers of English for three years now, in a postgraduate department of
    > Linguistics. Most students are EFL teachers and teacher trainers.
    > I stick to Windows - teaching students how to use Linux would just take
    > long.
    > What I'd recommend in terms of software is WordSmith Tools (about 60
    pounds for
    > an individual license) and MicroConcord (free). WordSmith is powerful and
    > relatively easy to use, although some would object to this and say that it
    has a
    > steep learning curve, which is true only if want to do the most 'advanced'
    > stuff, such as key key words, indexing, clumps, etc.
    > A tagger such as QTAG or WinBrill is also helpful (both free).
    > As far as equipment goes, you might want to get hold of a computer
    projector for
    > your computer room, so that students can follow you as click along in
    > Tools or any other software. Some students do tend to get lost in the many
    > windows that WS Tools opens.
    > As far as contents, one of the things that struck me over the years is how
    > students find to analyze concordances, and so I devote at least 4 3-hour
    > sessions to concordance analysis workshops, so that students begin to get
    a grip
    > on how to identify patterns in concordances, represent these patterns
    > consistently and evaluate their importance.
    > You can see some of my course materials at
    > I apologize in advance for bad links on that page since this website is
    > transferred from another location
    > Good luck in your course.!
    > hope this helps.
    > cheers
    > tony.
    > -------------------------------------
    > Dr Tony Berber Sardinha
    > LAEL, PUC/SP
    > (Catholic University of Sao Paulo, Brazil)
    > [New website]
    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: "Beatrice Vautherin" <>
    > To: <>
    > Sent: sexta-feira, 15 de março de 2002 13:41
    > Subject: Corpora: corpus linguistics course
    > > Dear list members,
    > > I am seeking advice on the best way to organize a corpus linguistics
    > > in my English department. Starting in february 2003, 2 hours every other
    > > week for 12 to 13 weeks (that is our second semester) so about twelve
    > > altogether. I can have a computer room with 10-12 PCs.
    > > I would like to know what corpora and what tools to buy (my BNC-World
    > > failed to install and I sent the CDs back). Of course the less money I
    > > for, the happier my head of department will be. Still I want the
    > > to have hands-on sessions with software that runs smoothly so as not to
    > > them off corpus linguistics for ever. They are second-year students in
    > > France (Paris-Sorbonne Nouvelle) studying for a degree in English.
    > > Thanks for your help. I will post a summary of the numerous replies I
    > > Beatrice Vautherin
    > >
    > >
    > > **************************************************************
    > > Béatrice VAUTHERIN, Maître de Conférences
    > > Université Paris 3-SORBONNE NOUVELLE
    > > Institut du Monde Anglophone
    > > 13 rue Santeuil 75231 Paris Cedex O5
    > > Tel Centre Censier et boîte vocale 33 (0)1 45 87 48 12
    > > **************************************************************
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >

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