In a somewhat nostalgic article Kingscott ( 1990: 75) reflects that 'Mother-tongue English will soon cease to be the predominant form of English' and expresses his concern about the spread of unidiomatic 'Foreigners' English'. It is likely that the vast numbers of non-native speakers of English who now use English as a language of communication will have some effect upon the evolution of the language. Nevertheless, there are ways of countering this spread of unidiomatic English, not least of which is finding out what it is that makes EFL English unidiomatic. Results gained from computer learner corpora are already producing some interesting findings and changing some of our preconceived ideas about learner language. If these findings are translated into new learning materials, better adapted to the learner's needs, maybe we will be able to make the pendulum swing back the other way!
I gratefully acknowledge the support of the Belgian National Scientific Research Council and the University of Louvain Research Fund who helped to fund the ICLE project.
AIJMER K. and ALTENBERG B. ( 1991) (eds.), English Corpus Linguistics ( London: Longman).
BIBER, D., CONRAD, S. and REPPEN, R. ( 1994), 'Corpus-based Approaches to Issues in Applied Linguistics', Applied Linguistics 15/2: 169-89.
Collins Cobuild English Grammar ( 1990) ( London/Glasgow: Collins ELT).
Collins Cobuild English Guides, Prepositions ( 1991) ( London: HarperCollins).
ELLIS, R. ( 1994), The Study of Second Language Acquisition ( Oxford: Oxford University Press).
FLOWERDEW L. and TONG A. K. K. ( 1994) (eds.), Entering Text ( Hong Kong: The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology).
FRIES U., TOTTIE G. and SCHNEIDER P. ( 1994) (eds.), Creating and using English Language Corpora ( Amsterdam/ Atlanta: Rodopi).
GRANGER, S. ( 1976), 'Why the Passive?', in J. VAN ROEY (ed.), 23-57.
--- ( 1994), "'The Leamer Corpus: A Revolution in Applied Linguistics'", English Today 10/ 3: 25-9.