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The teaching and learning of academic writing with the aid of digital corpora

L’enseignement et l’apprentissage de l’écrit académique a l’aide de corpus numérique

LIDIL journal, n.58

Revue « LIDIL », n° 58

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Published on Tuesday, April 25, 2017


In this issue of Lidil, we focus on the teaching and learning of academic writing with the aid of digital corpora. There may be queries into the interest of using such mega-data ladened resources when writing academic texts in a foreign language.



If one defines a corpus as a collection of written or recorded documents collected with the objective of analyzing their linguistic content, one can also take into account that a corpus may be composed of millions of word in the form of digitalized discourse. These corpora serve directly or indirectly for the teaching and learning of languages via multiple means. Within contexts of learning or teaching, corpora may take a range of forms, from targeted specialized texts to large databases. We also find products derived from corpora, such as vocabulary lists (Coxhead, 2000), dictionaries (Collins, 2017; MacMillan, 2017), and pedagogical materials (Chambers, 2010). The actual advantages of exploiting corpora for didactic objectives and the difficulties of this practice, be they encountered or imagined, remain a vast field of study. In this issue of Lidil, we focus on the teaching and learning of academic writing with the aid of digital corpora. There may be queries into the interest of using such mega-data ladened resources when writing academic texts in a foreign language.  Earlier attention to academic language (Reuter, 1998; Sinclair, 1991) appeared in a clearer light thanks to the data of corpora. Also, the BAWE corpus[1] or the Michigan Corpora[2], as well as, for both French and English, Scientext7 via the interface ScienQuest8, allow researchers to identify the characteristics of academic discourse of both experts and students.

Without repeating the benefits of large corpora for linguistic description, we would like for this publication to be the occasion to reflect on the state of their use in the language classroom as an aid for scholarly writing. More precisely, within the framework of this call for papers for the journal Lidil, we hope to bring together articles on the direct and indirect uses of corpora for the teaching and learning of writing in a university setting. For several years, the advancement of computer-assisted tools allowing the storage and especially the online query by non-specialists has facilitated the development of corpora for pedagogical aims. Because of this, foreign language teachers have taken a closer look at the exploitation of numerical resources for teaching and learning a language.

Main topics

Contributors are encouraged to explore if, following Boulton and Tyne’s (2014) volume on the use of corpora in the language classroom, higher education teachers use these tools, and if so, how and why. We hope to understand how these textual data can be integrated into the academic materials proposed within university language programs, in complement to the tools already present (textbooks, tablets, dictionaries, etc.). Thus, the themes considered for this issue will reflect the following questions and considerations:

  • Why and how can one exploit corpora within university language programs to assist in academic writing?
  • What linguistic objectives can we reasonably expect from such digital data?
  • How can one manage results (concordance or frequencydata, etc.) or make them accessible to learners and teachers alike?
  • How are these resources integrated into the learning experience or as part of the learners’s road to autonomy?
  • What linguistic objectives can we reasonably expect from the exploitation of such data?
  • How can we initially develop computer interfaces (is there collaboration between specialists in Natural language processing (NLP), didactics, linguistics?) or adapt them in post-production?
  • What is the situation of teaching or learner training for the use of these tools?

Email addresses for responding to this call for papers (before june 30 2017) :

  • Cristelle.Cavalla@sorbonne-nouvelle.fr
  • Laura.Hartwell@univ-grenoble-alpes.fr


  • 30 June 2017: Reception deadline for abstracts,

  • September 2017: Response to the authors,
  • December 2017: Deadline for authors to send articles to the coordinators,  March 2018: Digital version, 8 ScienQuest : http://corpora.aiakide.net/scientext18/.
  • 15 June –15 July 2018: Correspondence between coordinators and authors concerning final modifications,
  • December 2018: Publication of the issue.

Practical Information

  • The abstract should not exceed three pages.
  • The complete article will not exceed 40,000 signs (including spaces and notes).
  • The abstracts and articles can be written in either French or English. Please include an abstract in the other language.
  • The style sheet to be followed can be found on the ELLUG site :  http://ellug.univgrenoble-alpes.fr/Verify the presence of both key words and abstracts in both French and English in the complete article.

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[1] BAWE : http://ota.ahds.ac.uk/headers/2539.xml, voir aussi : www.coventry.ac.uk/bawe.

[2] Michigan Corpora : https://lsa.umich.edu/eli/language-resources/micase-micusp.html.7 Scientext : http://scientext.msh-alpes.fr/scientext-site/spip.php?article1.



  • Friday, June 30, 2017

Attached files


  • corpus numérique, langue étrangère, écrit académique


  • Cristelle Cavalla
    courriel : cristelle [dot] cavalla [at] sorbonne-nouvelle [dot] fr

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Cristelle Cavalla
    courriel : cristelle [dot] cavalla [at] sorbonne-nouvelle [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

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« The teaching and learning of academic writing with the aid of digital corpora », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, https://calenda.org/403081

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