Comparing English Worldwide: The International Corpus of English

By Sidney Greenbaum | Go to book overview

2 Learner English around the World
SYLVIANE GRANGER
1. INTRODUCTION
Though there is no general agreement on the exact figures, everybody now recognizes that there are now more non-native speakers of English in the world than native speakers. McArthur ( 1992: 355) speaks of a '2-to-1 ratio of non-natives to natives'. In this context, a project such as The International Corpus of English (ICE) is particularly welcome, as in addition to featuring different native varieties of English, it gives non-native varieties of English the place they deserve. However, ICE only covers institutionalized varieties of non-native English such as Indian English or Nigerian English. It leaves out a sizeable--arguably the largest-- group of non-native users of English in the world, i.e. foreign learners of English. It was to do justice to this rapidly expanding group of English speakers that I put forward a proposal to complement ICE with a corpus of learner English, a suggestion which was welcomed by Sidney Greenbaum. This resulted in the launch of The International Corpus of Learner English (ICLE) in late 1990. In this paper I will first situate the corpus within the other non-native varieties of English. Then I will describe the corpus in detail, paying particular attention to issues of methodology. I will briefly illustrate the insights to be derived from a computer-based investigation of learner lexis, grammar, and discourse features. Finally, I will highlight the pedagogical advantages of a corpus-based approach to EFL.
2. NON-NATIVE ENGLISHES
In the World Englishes (WE) tradition, the concept of non-native English is well- established. Kachru ( 1985: 12) represents the spread of English in the world as three concentric circles:
the inner circle, which contains the native English-speaking countries ( UK, USA, Australia, etc.);
the outer circle, which contains former colonies of the UK and the USA (India, Kenya, Nigeria, etc.). These countries have developed nativized varieties of

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Comparing English Worldwide: The International Corpus of English
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • List of Contributors xi
  • List of Figures xiii
  • List of Tables xv
  • Abbreviations xvi
  • Part I Introduction 1
  • 1: Introducing ICe 3
  • References 12
  • 2: Learner English Around the World 13
  • References 23
  • Part II Compilation and Annotation 25
  • 3: The Design of the Corpus 27
  • References 35
  • 4: Markup Systems 36
  • Notes 45
  • References 45
  • 5: The Umb Intelligent ICe Markup Assistant 54
  • References 64
  • 6: ICe Annotation Tools 65
  • 7: Developing the ICe Corpus Utility Program 79
  • 8: About the ICe Tagset 92
  • 9: Autasys: Grammatical Tagging and Cross-Tagset Mapping 110
  • 10: An Outline of the Survey's ICe Parsing Scheme 125
  • Reference 139
  • 11: The Survey Parser: Design and Development 142
  • References 157
  • Part III Problems of Implementation 161
  • 12: The New Zealand Spoken Component of ICe: Some Methodological Challenges1 163
  • References 177
  • 13: Second-Language Corpora1 182
  • References 195
  • 14: The International Corpus of English in Hong Kong 197
  • References 213
  • Part IV Applications 215
  • 15: The Corpus as A Research Domain 217
  • 16: ICe and Teaching 227
  • 17: The Sociolinguistics of English in Nigeria and the ICe Project 239
  • 18: Why A Fiji Corpus? 249
  • References 260
  • 19: Prosice: A Spoken English Database for Prosody Research 262
  • References 278
  • Index 281
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