LINGUIST List 10.704

Sat May 8 1999

Sum: Parallel Texts in Learning Foreign Lang

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  1. nerbonne, Parallel texts in FL learning

Message 1: Parallel texts in FL learning

Date: Sat, 8 May 1999 15:25:40 +0200 (METDST)
From: nerbonne <>
Subject: Parallel texts in FL learning

I posted a query in late '98 asking what was known about
the value of parallel texts in foreign language learning.
Thanks for responses to Lars Borin, Chris Butler, Rick 
McCallister, Tony McEnery, Derek Roff, Larry Rosenwald, 
June Thompson, Elia Yuste and someone at the ERIC 
clearinghouse at the Center for Applied Linguistics, 

I found little information directly on the question
of how valuable these texts are (to what sorts of 
learners). Most of the papers are very interesting experiments
on PROVIDING parallel texts to users without evaluation
of success. If you're going to read one paper on this,
it should be Barlow's.

Maybe the most intelligent basic discussion was Palmer 
(1917), though it concerned the use of translation in second
language learning, not parallel texts per se. He touched on 
many important issues (mixed in with comments that sound 
strange to the modern ear, e.g., speculations on which 
peoples learn languages best!).

John Nerbonne

- ---------------------------------------------------------------------

John Nerbonne, Alfa Informatica
University of Groningen Tel. (+31) 50 363 58 15
P.O. Box 716 Fax 363 68 55
Oude Kijk in 't Jatstraat 26
The Netherlands


With specific mention of parallel texts:

Barlow, M. (1996). Parallel Texts in Language Teaching. In Botley et
al. (eds.) Proceedings of Teaching and Language Corpora 1996. 45-56.

Botley, S., Glass, J., McEnery, T., Wilson, A. (eds.) (1996)
Proceedings of Teaching and Language Corpora 1996. Technical Paper 9,
University Centre for Computer Corpus Research on Language, Lancaster

Paskaleva, E., Mihov, S. (1998). Second Language Acquisition from
Aligned Corpora. In Jager, J., Nerbonne, J., van Essen, A. (eds),
Language Teaching and Language Technology, Swets & Zeitlinger, Lisse,

Peters, C., Picchi, E., Biagini, L. (1996) Parallel and Comparable
Bilingual Corpora in Langauge Teaching and Learning. In In Botley et
al. (eds.) Proceedings of Teaching and Language Corpora 1996. 68-82.

COMMENT: only Barlow and Peters et al. attempt arguments in favor of
the use of parallel texts. Paskaleva and Mihov provide a tool for
alignment, citing second language learning as a primary motivation.

Others mentioned

Bailin, A. (1995). Intelligent Computer-Assisted Language Learning: A
Bibliography. Computers and the Humanities 29 (5), 375-387.

Bauer, D., Segond, F., Zaenen, A. (1995). LOCOLEX: Translation Rolls
off your Tongue. In Proc. of the Conference of the ACH-ALLC '95, Santa
Barbara, USA.

Van Els, T., Extra, G., van Os, Ch., Bongaerts, Th. (1977). Handboek
voor de Toegepaste Taalkunde, Wolters-Noordhof, Groningen. Translated
as Applied Linguistics and the Learning and Teaching of Foreign
Languages (1984), Edward Arnold, London.

Johns, T. (1991). Should you be Persuaded-Two Samples of Data-Driven
Learning Materials. In Johns, T., King, P. (eds.) Classroom
Concordancing. 1-16. Johns, T. (1993) Data-Driven Learning: An
Update. TELL & CALL, 3.

Krashen, S. (1982). The Fundamental Pedagogical Principle in
Second-Language Teaching. Studia Linguistica 35 (1-2).

Levy, M. (1997). Computer-Assisted Language Learning: Context and
Conceptualization. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Nerbonne, J. and Dokter, D. (1999). An Intelligent, Word-Based
Language Learning Assistant. Traitement Automatique des Languages
40(1), 1-18.

Nerbonne, J., Dokter, D., Smit, P. (1998). Morphological Processing
and Computer-Assisted Language Learning. Computer-Assisted Language
Learning, 11(5), 421-437.

Palmer, H. (1968, 1ed. 1917). The Scientific Study and Teaching of
Languages. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Walker, S., Edwards, V., Blacksell, R. (1996). Designing Bilingual
Books for Children. Visible Language 30(3), 268-283. 

Wichmann, A., Fligelstone, S., McEnery, T., Knowles, G. (1997).
Teaching and Language Corpora. Addison-Wesley, New York. 

Widdowson, H. (1990). Aspects of Language Teaching. Oxford
University Press, Oxford.
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