The Role of Corpus Linguistics in Focus on Grammar

Marjorie_Fuchs Irene_SchoenbergMarjorie Fuchs and Irene Schoenberg

The Role of Corpus Linguistics in Focus on Grammar

The field of English language teaching has seen many trends come and go. Total Physical Response, The Silent Way, and The Natural Approach are just a few of the methods that have held the spotlight before disappearing or joining the supporting cast of strategies that experienced teachers use. Many have criticized our field for adopting the latest trends while dropping all that came before. However, the Focus on Grammar series has always taken a balanced approach, keeping what is tried and true while incorporating what is new and effective. To that end, Focus on Grammar has taken into account the findings of corpus linguistics, while never losing sight of what is pedagogically sound and useful.

Corpus linguistics is a field of linguistics which studies large samples of naturally occurring language in order to better understand how the language is used. Computers have made it possible to examine and analyze millions of language samples. We now have information about the frequency of use of vocabulary and structures, the words that typically occur with different structures, and the language of different genres. The results are interesting and important for anyone involved in language teaching. Continue reading