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Inductive learning and self-correction with the use of learner and reference corpora

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Chapter Summary

Two of the main issues in meeting the linguistic needs of English language learners are (a) what type of learner language these learners produce and (b) how we can help them improve their productive skills when using English. This paper gives an overview of existing literature on (a) the characteristic features of the interlanguage grammar of Chinese learners of English, and (b) the viability of the use of a learner corpus and a reference corpus to encourage these learners to become more independent language learners. The argument is that, once learners have identified discrepancies between their usage of English and native English usage as evidenced in a reference corpus, they should be in a position to induce native-like patterns and make self-corrections in their own production. This method of training is designed to equip students with lifelong skills that will hopefully be useful in and outside their language curriculum. Some recommendations will be made for a future longer-term experimental study to test the method.



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