The Use of Online Corpora as Reference Resources for Revision Tasks in Writing

  • Qinqin LuoEmail author
  • Weizhen Huang
  • Ying Liao
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9412)


The current study reports on an experiment with 60 Chinese college students, aiming to explore the effects of using online corpora BFSU CQP web for revision tasks in EFL writing. Quantitative data about the 60 lower level EFL learners’ scores in the post writing test show that there is a significant difference between the experimental group and the control group in terms of the lexical accuracy and the use of cohesion devices, which prove that corpora as reference resources are more useful than the online dictionary in helping learners improve their linguistic competence in writing. The follow-up interviews on the selected participants in the experimental group reveal different learners’ perceptions of using online corpora in the process of revising essays and the reasons behind their opinions, which can provide guidance for teachers to apply corpora effectively in teaching writing.


Online corpora Reference resources Revision tasks Writing 



This work was supported by Southwest Petroleum University Science and Technology Foundation (Grant No. 2012XJR013) and Web Culture Project Sponsored by the Humanities and Social Science Research Base of the Sichuan Provincial Education Department (Grant No. WLWH15-28).


  1. 1.
    Corder, P.: Error Analysis and Interlanguage. Oxford University Press, Oxford (1981)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Johns, T.: Should you be persuaded: two examples of data-driven learning. In: Johns, T., King, P. (eds.) Classroom Concordancing. ELR, Birmingham (1991)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gaskell, D., Cobb, T.: Can learners use concordance feedback for writing errors? System 32(3), 301–319 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gilmore, A.: Using online corpora to develop students’ writing skills. ELT J. 11, 1–10 (2009)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chambers, A., O’Sullivan, Í.: Corpus consultation and advanced learners’ writing skills in French. ReCALL 16(1), 158–172 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    O’Sullivan, Í., Chambers, A.: Learners’ writing skills in French: corpus consultation and learner evaluation. J. Second Lang. Writ. 15(1), 49–68 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Tono, Y., Satake, Y., Miura, A.: The effects of using corpora on revision tasks in L2 writing with coded error feedback. ReCALL 26, 147–162 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Pérez-Paredes, P., Sánchez-Tornel, M., Alcaraz Calero, J.M.: Learners’ search patterns during corpus-based focus-on-form activities. Int. J. Corpus Linguist. 17(4), 483–516 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Chang, J.Y.: The use of general and specialized corpora as reference sources for academic English writing: a case study. ReCALL 26(2), 243–259 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lee, D., Swales, J.: A corpus-based EAP course for NNS doctoral students: moving from available specialized corpora to self-compiled corpora. Engl. Specif. Purp. 25(1), 56–75 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Boulton, A.: Testing the limits of data-driven learning: language proficiency and training. ReCALL 21(1), 37–51 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Cotos, Elena: Enhancing writing pedagogy with learner corpus data. ReCALL 26(2), 202–224 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Yeh, Y., Liou, H.C., Li, Y.H.: Online synonym materials and concordancing for EFL college writing. Comput. Assist. Lang. Learn. 20(2), 131–152 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kennedy, C., Miceli, T.: Corpus-assisted creative writing: introducing intermediate Italian learners to a corpus as a reference resource. Lang. Learn. Technol. 14(1), 28–44 (2010)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Xu, J.J., Wu, L.P.: Web-based fourth generation corpus analysis tools and the BFSU CQP web case. Comput.-Assist. Foreign Lang. Educ. 5, 10–15 (2014)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Smart, J.: The role of guided induction in paper-based data-driven learning. ReCALL 26, 184–201 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Wolfe-Quintero, K., Inagaki, S., Kim, H.Y.: Second language development in writing: measures of fluency, accuracy, and complexity (Report No. 17). Second Language Teaching and Curriculum Center, University of Hawai’i, Honolulu (1998)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ortega, L.: Syntactic complexity measures and their relationship to L2 proficiency: a research synthesis of college-level L2 writing. Appl. Linguist. 24(4), 492–518 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Huang, Z.P.: The effects of paper-based DDL on the acquisition of lexico-grammatical patterns in L2 writing. ReCALL 26, 163–183 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    O’Sullivan, I.: Enhancing a process-oriented approach to literacy and language learning: the role of corpus consultation literacy. ReCALL 19(3), 269–286 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Foreign LanguagesSouthwest Petroleum UniversityChengduChina

Personalised recommendations