Corpus versus non-corpus-informed pedagogical materials: Grammar as the focus

Fanny Meunier, Randi Reppen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

18 Scopus citations


In 2000, TESOL Quarterly published an article by Susan Conrad titled “Will corpus linguistics revolutionize grammar teaching in the 21st century?” Conrad argued that three changes prompted by corpus-based studies of grammar had “the potential to revolutionize the teaching of grammar” (2000: 549): first, monolithic descriptions of English grammar would be replaced by register-specific descriptions; second, the teaching of grammar would become more integrated with the teaching of vocabulary; and third, the emphasis would shift from structural accuracy to the appropriate conditions of use for alternative grammatical constructions. The article also ended with a number of thought provoking questions, viz. whether or not corpus-based research had reached the right audiences; how research applications were presented; how and how much corpus research had been incorporated into materials; and finally, how teachers reacted to the use of corpus research. The present chapter aims to check whether the changes predicted by Conrad have actually taken place and how exactly they have materialized in pedagogical materials. Section 1 presents some of the key issues in the writing of corpus-informed materials. In Section 2, we briefly present eight grammar textbooks (four corpus-informed and four non-corpus-informed); these textbooks are analyzed with a view to finding out the similarities and differences between these two types of materials and to answering the research questions presented in the introduction. We carry out a more in- depth analysis of two of the four research questions listed above, namely how corpus-based research applications are presented, and how (and how much) corpus-based research has been incorporated into materials. As numerous corpus studies have investigated the passive, we have selected that topic as a candidate for the comparison of corpus-informed versus non-corpus-informed pedagogical materials. Some suggestions for the future are presented in the concluding section.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Handbook of English Corpus Linguistics
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781139764377
ISBN (Print)9781107037380
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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