CALL activitiesChappelle (2001) provides six criteria for CALL applications to beevaluated. Language learning potential The degree of opportunity present for beneficial focus on form. Learner fit The amount of opportunity for engagement with language under appropriate conditions given learner characteristics. Meaning focus The extent to which learners’ attention is directed toward the meaning of the language.
Authenticity The degree of correspondence between the CALL activity and target language activities of interest to learners outside the classroom. Positive impact The positive effects of the CALL activity on those who participate in it. Practicality The adequacy of resources to support the use of the CALL activity. Corpus linguistic and second language learningConcordance theory is related to corpus linguistics. Corpuslinguistics is a method of studying language structure and use by usingcomputers to analyze principled collections of naturally occurring languageresulting in quantitative data and functional interpretations (Conrad, 1999).So, it is a representative of a language, dialect, and other aspects of thelanguage.
There have been many debates about the use of corpora in languageclasses. However, it has been considered as a valuable resource for languagelearners. According to Girgin (2011), corpora have been applied to teachingeither indirectly through dictionaries, textbooks, and course books or directlythrough corpus-based/corpus-oriented activities in language classes. (P. 1).
The integration of corpus linguistic and classroom materialsWe need to encourage the use of corpora by enhancing pedagogicalrelevance and authentication of corpus use. Learners are required to be able touse corpora as a source for meaningful interactions in classroom activities.”Teachers who decide to join the corpus bandwagon will definitely have to go’beyond the pen and paper’ but this does not necessarily imply a technologicalbig bang.” (Meunier, 2011, P.469). A corpus-based approach is indispensable: “informationabout the frequency of use of certainstructures, and about specialized phraseologies and patterns, can only beobtained from corpora, not from textbooks or grammar books, while traditionaldictionaries cannot compete with web-based corpora where lexical andterminological evolution is concerned”(Boulton et al.
, 2012: 2). Corpus linguistics also enables learners to become autonomous andto search for vocabulary of registers, lexical bundles, and collocations whichare considered as a necessary requirement of second language competence. PreviousResearch FindingsThe use of concordancing to analyze texts began to be studied inthe late eighties by Sinclair at the University of Birmingham. He used corpusto describe the use of grammar and vocabulary items of English. He argued thatthe use of corpus is a valuable tool in describing patterns of use of words andphrases. Several researchers have used the concordance activities in theclassroom and gained great results. For example Stevens (1991a) used thistechnique to teach vocabulary at Sultan Qaboos University. He showed that if wegive the students a greater number of examples and the authentic texts throughconcordance activities, they will become more motivated to do the activities.
Girgin (2011), in a study investigated the influence ofcorpus-based activities on lower level EFL students at Erciyes UniversitySchool of Foreign Languages to see whether they are able to do those activitieseffectively in order to learn grammar structures of English. He also examinedthe students’ attitudes toward those activities. The results showed that thestudents were able to use those activities effectively and that they hadpositive attitudes toward corpus-based activities.In another study, Levechenko (2017) examined postgraduates’perception of corpus-based classroom activities (C-BCA) in English for academicpurposes. The participants were 10 postgraduate students of Samara Universityin Russia. The results showed that there are a connection betweenpostgraduates’ positive perception of C-BCA and good results of writing assignments.
Yoon (2005) conducted a study for his degree doctor of philosophyto examine the quality of students’ writing experiences using corpusactivities, their L2 competence development, and how it can be integrated intowriting instruction. The participants of the study were students of a largeMidwestern American university who contributed in an in-depth case study. Theresults of this study showed that corpora provided a useful language input byoffering collocation and common usage patterns. Furthermore, corpus use seemedto develop long term cognitive skills by promoting language awareness andenhancing students’ autonomy.Thurston and Candlin (1998) developed a list of vocabulary items byusing corpora. They used it to provide concordance based materials for teachingvocabulary.
The purpose was to enable the learners to learn through exposure tomany examples of same words in multiple contexts and to enhance students’awareness of collocations. The students’ reaction was good and they found ithelpful and innovative.In sum, although, many studies were conducted about the use ofcorpora in the classroom and they all provided a rich theoretical knowledge,little research has been done to provide empirical evidences of theeffectiveness of using corpora and concordance activities in classroomenvironment. So, this study was set to investigate the impact of usingconcordance activities on Iranian students’ L2 achievement.
The aim is toprovide insights for students and also teachers to become aware of its benefitsand to find ways for better use of learning facilities.