Monday, April 7, 2008

"Beyond Concordance Line: Using Concordances to Investigate Language Development"

  • Hi there! For this posting I would like to discuss about the article by Arshad Abd. Samad. Arshad Abd. Samad try tell us on how by using the concordance, we can examine the language expansion. First of all, the language corpus offers a useful resource in language learning in nowadays and during the era of computer-assisted language learning (CALL). According to Woorlad (2000), the language corpus is very useful as it has been used as the basis of dictionaries and teaching material. Its use is now better as the easy availability of concordance software such as Wordsmith, MonoConc Pro and Microconcord. This software can help in analyzing language data and greatly extend the possible of a corpus in language pedagogy. Frequently, corpora assist to notify on how words and grammatical structure. Therefore, teachers, researchers and language learner typically look at concordance lines to learn how words and grammatical constructions are used. Schmitt argues that, the benefits of using corpus is to help students to “look at the systematically systematicity of language as an interesting linguistic puzzle, rather than a set of boring rules to be memorized”. RANGE is a new software that developed by linguistics practitioners has provided an additional viewpoint to corpus studies. In Malaysia, two efforts that have been done about the Malaysian learner’s corpus that collected by University Malaya and the English of Malaysian school students or EMAS corpus by researches of University Putra Malaysia. According to Arshad, the EMAS corpus consists of close to half a million word. The students that involved in this study had been asked to write three essays of different topics. Besides, the students were also consists of three age groups, which are year five of primary school, form one and form four of secondary school. From this study, they can inspect language development by comparing the performance of three age group, such as their language productivity and vocabulary use. Beside that, by using software such as RANGE, the sophistication of vocabulary also can be determined. In conclusion, this article is actually tried to concern the use of a corpus in language teaching and learning. Even though concordance software can help in analyzing the language data accessible, but many may still be easily disturb by the huge amount of data available. Besides, this article has tried to present the significance of corpus data in investigating the language development without having to analyze concordance line.
  • My friend and I have discovered concordance on a poem 'Ode on a gracian urn' by John Keats. For example the usage of the word 'are' in this poems:
  1. What men or gods are these? What maidens loth? (Stanza 1)
  2. Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard (Stanza 2)
  3. Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on; (Stanza 2)
  4. Who are these coming to the sacrifice? (Stanza 4)
  • The use of concordance in litearary work are to analyze the repetition of keywords in the prose fiction such as poems, drama, short stories etc. Beside that, it can also comparing the different usage of the same word. For example the word 'are' that had been given above, showed you the different location of the word 'are' which are in the beginning and in the middle of the lines. Furthermore, concordance can help you in finding and analysing the phrases and idioms and finally it can creates indexes and word list that is very useful for publishing.

  • If you want to see more about the concordance in this poem you can visit this website



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