Student Vocabulary Expansion with the Help of a Learner Corpus

Posted: 1 Feb 2017 Last revised: 26 Jul 2018

See all articles by Olga Vinogradova

Olga Vinogradova

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Tatyana Pitra

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Date Written: February 1, 2017

Abstract

In courses of general English, and in preparation for examination in particular, students need much feedback when they submit written works. Besides tips concerning content, coherence and cohesion, grammatical range and accuracy, all of which are standardly included in instructor’s comments, more efficient advice touches upon directions towards lexical improvements. However, such feedback requires a huge amount of time and effort on the part of the instructor, whose workload is heavy enough to make any extra effort undesirable. Besides, the wealth of student texts in the learner corpus allows researchers to make use of the many samples of student writing by applying certain computer tools. As a result, the authors set themselves a task of developing a system of automated lexical inspection of student works. Initially, we used essays in the corpus to work out which formal parameters in the essays demonstrate in what ways essays that have been evaluated as good by the examination experts can be distinguished, then we applied those parameters in the process of automated inspection, after which we proceeded to checking the correlation between the inspection results and the traditional grading. Finally, after a thorough analysis a system of lexical inspection of student essays was established, which paves way to the development of automated lexical feedback in order to orient students in how to improve the lexical variety in their writing.

Keywords: learner corpus; lexical proficiency; corpus research; feedback on student essay; readability tests

JEL Classification: Z19

Suggested Citation

Vinogradova, Olga and Pitra, Tatyana, Student Vocabulary Expansion with the Help of a Learner Corpus (February 1, 2017). Higher School of Economics Research Paper No. WP BRP 53/LNG/2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2909680 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2909680

Olga Vinogradova (Contact Author)

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

Tatyana Pitra

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

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