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Corpus linguistics for teaching at an advanced level: professor Michael McCarthy spoke about the use of corpora in teaching

Corpus linguistics for teaching at an advanced level: professor Michael McCarthy spoke about the use of corpora in teaching

On April 25, an online seminar was held by Professor Michael McCarthy on the topic “Corpora and the Advanced Level: Bridges to Specialization”. The possibility of using corpora in teaching advanced-level students is already on the agenda.

The video lecture is devoted to the problems of building a coherent curriculum for students studying the language at an advanced level. As students move on to the next levels of English language learning, their needs become more narrowly focused, and reaching the advanced level is often seen as a transition to more specialized varieties of English, i. e., academic, business, and professional English.

However, there is no comprehensive answer to the question of what exactly an “advanced language level” involves, and advanced-level curricula and materials often fail to meet the expectations of students who need consistent consolidation of their language skills.

“The advanced level should be a consistent area of language learning where the teacher understands the direction where they are taking their students,” Michael McCarthy said.

Considering these prerequisites, the scholar pays special attention to the aspects of vocabulary and grammar of the English language based on the texts of the oral and written corpora, and to the discussion of possible interpretations and implications of these aspects, as well as the explanation of the ways to integrate relevant practical components into teaching at an advanced level to ensure the effective development of professional vocabulary.

Professor McCarthy also looks at some of the available free online resources that can be used when working with advanced level students, when teaching switches from general English to vocational English.

“These resources allow us to provide corpus data to other users. They are a reliable source of information about how the language works at various levels, and especially how the language works at a more advanced level in terms of lexical and grammatical structures. They allow the teacher to see whether students are making progress in learning vocabulary or grammar,” Michael McCarthy said.

The seminar was organized within the framework of the ongoing inter-departmental research seminar of the RUDN Academic Council Commission on Modern Languages Studies.

Background information:

Michael McCarthy is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Nottingham, one of the founders of corpus linguistics, and the author of textbooks on English grammar, colloquial vocabulary, business vocabulary, and grammar published by Cambridge University Press. Professor McCarthy’s research on teaching methods, discourse analysis, and business English is well-recognized among linguists, teachers, and young researchers.

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