Results tagged “concordancer”
Professor Mark Davies of the Brigham Young University set up a superb site to access the British National Corpus (BNC). Easy to use, fast, packed with features and intuitive, it is by far the best concordancer on the web in my opinion.
A Low Treshold Application (LTA) is defined as a teaching/learning application of information technology that is reliable, accessible, easy to learn, non-intimidating and (incrementally) inexpensive. There is a lot in it that I like; I like the idea of incorporating existing technologies that are already well-established and avaialble, which might already be used by both teachers and learners.
In language discussions, results taken from search engines are often quoted as examples to show whether something is used as a form or to compare forms to see which is more common, etc. GoogleBlogoscoped has run 27,000 words from a dictionary through Google for popularity- the full results of the study can be downloaded here. The table below shows the top thirty words from the 2006 and 2003 surveys, together with the top thirty words from the British National Corpus (BNC).
The method used in the Google study does not count multiple occurrences in a single page, so the presence of a copyright message at the foot of a page will count for the same as all the times that the occurs, which accounts for the presence of copyright, contact, site, home, etc. However, the other entries suggest that the contents of the Google databases, and therefore any other reputable search engine, are likely to give a fairly accurate reflection for terms that are not related directly to the language of the layout of a webpage. As a rough and ready tool for checking, it seems that search engines can be used as basic concordancing tools.
In an interview on ELTNews on a recent visit to Japan, Professor Henry Widdowson says that the most obvious example of a conceptually flawed theory in ESL teaching is "the current precept that English teachers must only use real or authentic English in their teaching that is to say the English that naturally occurs in the contexts of native speaker use. This directive comes from corpus linguistics and as such has no necessary pedagogic validity whatever."
The search engine Exalead offers some very interesting and powerful features for language searches. It's in a beta version at the moment, but the advanced search page offers a number of interesting possibilities.
Because it breaks down with such regularity, London Underground has equipped its staff with a number of excuses. Recently I was on a train that stopped short of its destination and we were told that 'because of the late running of this train, it will now terminate here'. While I can see that, from a timetable perspective, a late train might be blocking things, from a passenger's perspective, it is doubly infuriating to have to wait for a train and then be told that you can't get to your destination. Transport in London is of such a low standard that it really does have to be experienced to be believed. However, yesterday, they told me that the train I was on would have to wait a few minutes because there was a delay behind us. Despite trying, I could not work out any sense behind this explanation.