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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: The Use of General and Specialized Corpora as Reference Tools for Academic and Technical English Writing: A case study of Korean graduate students of engineering Add Dissertation
Author: Ji-Yeon Chang Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Seoul National University, College of Education
Completed in: 2011
Linguistic Subfield(s): Applied Linguistics;
Director(s): Sun-Young Oh
Oryang Kwon
Jin-Hwa Lee
Jin-Wan Kim
Byungmin Lee

Abstract: The present study set out to investigate whether or not corpora could
provide help to nonnative English speaking graduate engineering students
in Korea, who are required to write in English in an EFL setting where
English language resources are relatively scarce and who are known to
suffer from lexicogrammatical problems. To this end, the study first
addressed the respective advantages and disadvantages of general and
specialized corpora with a focus on corpora as reference tools for English
writing. Secondly, the participants' evaluations of the given corpora were
also examined, along with their attitudinal changes and patterns of corpus
use. Finally, the present study uncovered the limitations of corpus
consultation during the process of English writing. Ten graduate students
in a computer engineering lab at a Korean university participated in the
present study. The study lasted for twenty-two weeks, and its data were
collected from surveys, interviews, logs, and a wide variety of written
products as well as the researcher’s observations.

The major findings of the present study are as follows:

The present study showed that a certain level of English language
proficiency was required to take full advantage of corpora, and some
participants considered corpus consultation time-consuming. Using corpora
did not always lead to raising language awareness and improving
interlanguage. The study also showed the possibility that corpora could be
perceived as copying tools. During the English writing process, the
participants found that corpora were less helpful in solving problems
beyond the sentence level.

Based on the research findings, it is assumed in the present study that
corpora would be of great help to Korean graduate science/engineering
students, who are under pressure to write and publish papers in English, by
complementing their reference tools rather than replacing them. In
particular, specialized corpora would be highly valuable to these students
in confirming the usage of technical vocabulary, including its noun
articles. In order to improve student writers' interlanguage, however, at
least some measurements seem to be necessary to increase their language
awareness. Furthermore, for student writers to use corpora appropriately,
it is necessary to provide instructions to them on how to paraphrase and
summarize with explicit guidelines about plagiarism. Finally, the present
study warns of the
possibility that corpora can be exploited to reinforce English hegemony in
the EAP world, although the use of a specialized corpus is open to debate.

The present study suggests that three criteria should be satisfied in order
to maximize the efficacy of corpus consultation...