Native speakers learn their mother tongue slowly, from birth, by the constant repetition of common words and phrases in a variety of contexts and situations, within the language community. As foreign language learners, we face considerable disadvantages when compared to children learning their mother tongue. Foreign language learners start later in life, have less time, have fewer opportunities to experience the language, and learn in the restricted environment of the classroom. Teachers and books give us information about many words and phrases, but it is difficult for us to know what we need to focus on and learn thoroughly, and what is less important. The rules and explanations are often difficult for us to understand. A large language corpus represents roughly the amount and variety of language that a native-speaker experiences in a whole lifetime. Learners can now access language corpora. We can check which words and phrases are important, and quickly discover their common meanings, collocations, and structural patterns. It is easier to remember things that we find out ourselves, rather than things that teachers or books tell us. Each click on the computer keyboard can show us the same information in different ways, so we can understand it more easily. We can also get many more examples from a corpus. Teachers and native-speakers can also use corpora, to confirm and enhance their own knowledge of a language, and prepare exercises to guide their students. Each of us can learn at our own level and at our own speed.
|Title of host publication||PAC3 at JALT 2001 Conference Proceedings|
|Editors||Malcolm Swanson, David McMurray|
|Place of Publication||Tokyo (JP)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2002|
Bibliographical noteJALT 2001, 22-25 November 2001, Kitakyushu (JP).
- native speakers
- mother tongue
- foreign language learners