A Case for Using a Parallel Corpus and Concordancer for Beginners of a Foreign Language

Nadiah Bt. Mohd Sukarno 0734966 Nur Iliyana Bt. Mohamad Johari 0730958 Nor Aqlili Bt. Ahmad Ruslan 0736866

Corcondancer Corpus

: Multiconcord : INTERSECT

Purpose of the study
• To determine whether a parallel corpus and a Corcondancer would be an appropriate teaching programme for German language at beginners’ level in an unsupervised environment.

Purpose of the study
• To know how a beginner student of German would use a Corcondancer (Multiconcord) and a parallel German/ English corpus (INTERSECT) consisting original German text with English translations • No teachers are involved; the student will assume the role of a researcher. The analyses of the words or phrases will be done by himself.

Corpus used in the study
• The German-English INTERSECT corpus includes various text types including spoken language. • Table 1. Composition of the INTERSECT Corpus (parts not used in the present study in italics)

• An English student who has learnt German at a beginner level was asked to find answers to unknown vocabulary and formulate appropriate grammar using Corcondancer and parallel corpus as tools.

The Participant: • a participant in beginner’s class without knowing the existence of a Concordancer. • Has linguistics background • fond of grammar • Level of German is approximately towards GSCE level. • No prior knowledge of German before coming to the University but then studied the language for a year while in the University.

Example of first task: • Word or phrase searching The participant would enter a German word that he wants to search. The Concordancer would then list the German phrases using the word and at the same time have the English translation. The student then has to explain about the nature of the word and it is used in context. Eg: The student was asked to find the difference between “was”(what) and “wie”(how).

dbank.de 1a dbank.en 1b dbank.de 2a

dbank.en 2b
dbank.de3a dbank.en3b

Wie ist diese Differenz zu bewerten? How is such a spread to be assessed? Wie ist die Option „runde Wechselkurse" zu bewerten? How is the option "round exchange rates" to be assessed? Was ist die EWU? What is EMU?

• The student was independent in his analyses; the teacher only gave suggestion on what he should search about. • He derived his own inferences from analysing both language and the researcher noted that he can correctly comment on the grammatical issues of the German language. • The study was a success and the researcher recommends on using the Concordancer; the student must have a basic knowledge of the foreign language so that he is able to use the software.

References and Links
http://llt.msu.edu/vol5num3/stjohn/ John, E. (2011). A case for using a parallel corpus and concordancer for beginners of a foreign language. Language Learning and Technology, 5 (3), 185-203.

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