Professional Teaching Articles. July 2008
Asian EFL Journal3
representative of the learner corpora, then analyzes why there exists a gap and a lag between corpus-linguistic research and classroom teaching. Based on the studies of the previous corpus work and the presentation of a small corpus built by the author himself and the pedagogical theories of EFL teaching, the paper points it out thatcompared with those established corpora, a self-built mini-corpus has its uniqueadvantages, which can contribute to eliminate the drawbacks of the establishedcorpora to a large extent. Finally, the paper concludes that it should be necessary andfeasible for an EFL teacher, abiding by some basic principles, to build an EFLlearner-oriented mini-corpus for practical classroom uses when she or he intends toapply corpora to EFL teaching.
Evolution of EFL Teaching Methods
In the history of English education, where there is EFL teaching and learning, there isa successive pursuit of ideal teaching methods. Different methods have beenintroduced, tried out and found unsatisfactory, among them, the ‘Direct Method’ inthe early decades of last century, the ‘Situational Method’ in the 1960s, the‘Audiolingual Method’ in the 1970s, and the ‘Communicative Approach’ in the 1980s(Yan, Zhou, & Dai, 2007). Through trial and error, people have realized no singlemethod seems good enough to be universally accepted as best (Yan, Zhou, & Dai,2007). Thus, the best method is most likely to be the collaboration of the positive parts of different methods. Only when an EFL teacher can familiarize him/herself with the essences of those methods and flexibly put them into teaching in accordancewith the particular classroom situations can he/she reach the summit of successfulEFL teaching. To briefly look back at the evolution of EFL teaching methods, theauthor aims to indicate that though this paper is in favor of the use of corpora, it doesnot claim that this is the only method applicable to classroom teaching. The paper alsointends to indicate that although this paper advocates the use of a mini-corpus built byEFL teachers themselves, it does not object to the use of established corpora, on thecontrary, does suggest the combination of self-built corpora with the established ones.