In this article I discuss the issues and challenges of compiling a corpus of historical plays by a range of playwrights that is highly suitable for use in comparative, corpus-based research into language style in Shakespeare’s plays. In discussing sources for digitised historical play-texts and criteria for making a selection for the present study, I argue that not just any set of Early Modern English plays constitutes a suitable basis upon which to make reliable claims about language style in Shakespeare’s plays relative to those of his peers. I point out factors outside of authorial choice which potentially have bearing on language style, such as sub-genre features and change over time. I also highlight some particular difficulties in compiling a corpus of historical texts, notably dating and spelling variation, and I explain how these were addressed. The corpus detailed in this article extends the prospects for investigating Shakespeare’s language style by providing a context into which it can be set and, as I indicate, is a valuable new publicly accessible resource for future research.
Corpus-based studies of learner language and (especially) English varieties have become more quantitative in nature and increasingly use regression-based methods and classifiers such as classification trees, random forests, etc. One recent development more widely used is the MuPDAR (Multifactorial Prediction and Deviation Analysis using Regressions) approach of Gries and Deshors (2014) and Gries and Adelman (2014). This approach attempts to improve on traditional regression- or tree-based approaches by, firstly, training a model on the reference speakers (often native speakers (NS) in learner corpus studies or British English speakers in variety studies), then, secondly, using this model to predict what such a reference speaker would produce in the situation the target speaker is in (often non-native speakers (NNS) or indigenized-variety speakers). Crucially, the third step then consists of determining whether the target speakers made a canonical choice or not and explore that variability with a second regression model or classifier.
Both regression-based modeling in general and MuPDAR in particular have led to many interesting results, but we want to propose two changes in perspective on the results they produce. First, we want to focus attention on the middle ground of the prediction space, i.e. the predictions of a regression/classifier that, essentially, are made non-confidently and translate into a statement such as ‘in this context, both/all alternants would be fine’. Second, we want to make a plug for a greater attention to misclassifications/-predictions and propose a method to identify those as well as discuss what we can learn from studying them. We exemplify our two suggestions based on a brief case study, namely the dative alternation in native and learner corpus data.
In Slovakia, modern Cultural Studies of English-speaking countries have been integrated into university curricula since the 1990s. However, there is a fundamental difference in the role CLIL plays in teaching “realia” (alternatively: cultural studies, country studies and area studies) for philological students and for business students of non-philological faculties. While philological students study realia with primary linguistic and cultural goals (i.e. to learn new words, terminology, context and comparative cultural aspects), non-philological students’ goals are business oriented (i.e. allow a successful graduate to function effectively in a new business environment). That affects the methodology, teaching procedure and assessment of both disciplines in debate.
This research aims to prove the effectiveness of Spanish as a Second Language lessons for Haitians designed by volunteers in Santiago de Chile. The methodology used through the study was based on the application of two questionnaires to Haitian students in order to compare results, and finally obtain an average that reflects the achievement of the communicative functions expected. Results indicate that neither the lessons planned, material giver nor the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages fulfilled such expectations. Findings are discussed in relation to previous studies on methodologies for Spanish as a Second Language for Haitian immigrants in Chile ()
The paper provides an overview of the forms in which translation is used in foreign language education. A tentative classification is suggested which differentiates between facilitative translation as a supporting process that helps to overcome learning constraints, deliberate translation as an independent task with a predetermined objective that targets learners’ foreign language competence and skills, and simulated translation as an activity from which additional pedagogical benefits regarding learners’ foreign language proficiency can be derived. From the side of the learner, facilitative translation constitutes a complex learning strategy that can be applied for a variety of strategic purposes (memory-related, cognitive, compensatory, metacognitive, affective, and social), while from the side of the teacher it represents a scaffolding tool that can be consolidated into a fully-fledged teaching technique. Deliberate translation can further be differentiated according to the specifics of pedagogical focus. Language-focused translation, targeting learners’ grammatical accuracy or vocabulary range and control, and skill-focused translation, targeting one of the four basic communicative language skills, can be used for both instruction-related and diagnostic purposes. The focus on the holistic use of the available linguistic repertoire results in the two complex uses of translation as an incentive for communication and as a communicative activity aimed at developing the skill of cross-language mediation. A particular type of simulated translation which appears to be particularly suited for the purposes of foreign language education is audiovisual translation.