Effect of English Corpus on Reform of College English Teaching and the Improvement of Students' Vocabulary Competence*

By Wang, Song; Zeng, Xiangfa | Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri, December 2018 | Go to article overview

Effect of English Corpus on Reform of College English Teaching and the Improvement of Students' Vocabulary Competence*


Wang, Song, Zeng, Xiangfa, Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri


English vocabulary is the most basic unit of English language and also an important part of linguistic knowledge. Vocabulary, as the carrier of semantic expression, plays a key role in information transmission (Awal, Ho-Abdullah & Zainudin, 2014). In recent years, with the rapid development of computer technology, the corpus has developed rapidly by means of computer platforms, which has impacted the traditional English teaching mode. The corpus-based English vocabulary teaching has become a new trend (Craig, 2011; Fuyuno, 2013). Different from traditional teaching, the corpus-based innovative teaching mode can optimize educational resources, promote the development of teachers' teaching skills, and improve the way of students' learning (Vieira, 2013). In English vocabulary, the meaning of vocabulary is all-encompassing, and the slight deviation of spelling words can lead to a very big difference in English semantics, which is also the charm of language (Walker, 2011).

There are various teaching methods for English vocabulary, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The commonly used are explanation, intuitiveness, word-building and word-aggregation methods, but some vocabulary does not follow the law of memory, making it difficult for students to use new vocabulary in specific contexts. (Teo, 2017). According to the professional level of English vocabulary, English corpus can be divided into general corpus and professional corpus. Both corpora show large capacity and high practicality. The theory of corpus advocates students to learn knowledge through independent observation and exploration mode, which is a new model applicable to modern foreign language classroom teaching (Tejada, Gallardo, Ferradá & López, 2015). The corpus retrieval tool can help teachers to select the key vocabulary meeting the teaching needs from the corpus. Besides, the data in the corpus improves the recurrence rate of the total new vocabulary during the teaching and thus help students master the vocabulary so as to promote their learning outcome (Demirel & Semin, 2015). In this paper, the effectiveness using English corpus to the reform of college English teaching and the improvement of students' vocabulary competence were studied.

Application of corpus in college English teaching

English corpus teaching is a branch of computer-assisted teaching. The corpus can meet the teaching obj ectives of teachers and the learning needs of students, and the corpus vocabulary teaching method encourages students to learn knowledge in cooperation (Poole, 2016). Corpus-based vocabulary teaching follows the principles of objectivity, subjectivity, timeliness and gradualism (Lam, 2010). Based on the combination of corpus and traditional vocabulary teaching methods, the new vocabulary teaching method is developed, as an important part of English teaching reform. In this paper, the parallel classes of Nanjing University were investigated and tested, with the experimental period of 4 months. At the earlier stage of the experiment, the questionnaire was conducted to study the use of the corpus by the students; during the experiment, the test was performed to examine the students' effectiveness in learning English vocabulary through the corpus, and also the interviews with teachers and students were made to understand the teaching and learning process.

Questionnaires: Through extracting high frequency keywords of college English, the questionnaires were conducted in four aspects.

Tests: It includes pre-tests and post-tests, with the same difficulty. The advantages of corpus teaching can be found through the comparison of pre- and post-student scores.

Interviews: The interview include student interviews and teacher interviews, both in the one-on-one form. In a timely manner, the feedbacks from teachers and students can be obtained, and the experiment process can be adjusted or modified.

Analysis and Summary of Experimental Data

Analysis for the questionnaire results

A total of 120 questionnaires were issued, all of which were valid five-level questionnaires. …

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