A lifetime of language experience at each click!

Ramesh Krishnamurthy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPAC3 at JALT 2001 Conference Proceedings
EditorsMalcolm Swanson, David McMurray
Place of PublicationTokyo (JP)
PublisherJALT
Pages680-688
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)4-901352-04-0
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2002

Bibliographical note

JALT 2001, 22-25 November 2001, Kitakyushu (JP).

Keywords

  • native speakers
  • mother tongue
  • foreign language learners
  • corpora

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