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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

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To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.

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Summary Details

Query:   corpus studies, elementary and high school texts
Author:  Stacia Levy
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Applied Linguistics

Summary:   Greetings.

About a month ago I posted to the list about my current research interest, corpus research of the academic language of K-12 textbooks. The problem as I see it is often K-12 teachers are told to teach ''academic language'' without any specifics on what that actually is.
Ute Romer of University of Hanover kindly responded by sending a couple of articles on corpus resarch being done in Germany, comparing the language used in a small corpus of German EFL texts and with the British National Corpus. Items studied were ''if clauses'' and present participle forms: their contexts, uses, and forms. Discrepancies were found between ''school'' English and authentic English. (A memorable example of an if-clause from an EFL textbook: ''If you eat your hat, you'll be ill.'') Methods for compiling a small corpus and pedagogical implications for improving teaching materials were
covered. Thank you, Ute.

LL Issue: 15.1259
Date Posted: 16-Apr-2004
Original Query: Read original query


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