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Using data-driven methods in teaching Czech as a foreign language
Using data-driven methods in teaching Czech as a foreign language

Author(s): Klára Osolsobě, Pavlína Vališová
Subject(s): Foreign languages learning, Syntax, Lexis, Language acquisition, Western Slavic Languages
Published by: Masarykova univerzita nakladatelství
Keywords: Czech National Corpus; learner corpora; data-driven learning; grammar;
Summary/Abstract: The aim of this paper is to illustrate how the Czech National Corpus is used for teaching the Czech language. More specifically, it explains how the use of a data-driven method in teaching Czech is likely to differ from teaching English or other analytical languages. Instead of focusing on lexical patterns, students’ assignments include observing inflectional forms and formulating grammar rules based on analysing concordances. In the empirical research presented here, learners of Czech spent two hours in class undertaking some specific corpus tasks. In spite of very limited training, they were able to use the corpus software and benefit from the findings using simplified queries: they did not need to use any corpus query language – a simple word search suffi ced. One of the tasks was to display the lemma and tag of the node word and identify its grammatical form. This task emerged as an important one because it shows how a corpus can complement dictionaries, where learners cannot find all inflectional forms. Texts simplified according to the level of profi ciency are the order of the day in Czech textbooks – authentic texts are rare. And full conjugations and declensions are typically taught before students engage with texts at all. Corpus-based exercises can therefore serve as a useful step in fostering an understanding of a text. An analagous research was conducted on native and non- native studens of Czech. This study thus demonstrates the potential of corpora in teaching highly inflectional languages, including Slavonic languages.

  • Page Range: 183-194
  • Page Count: 12
  • Publication Year: 2012
  • Language: English