Learning Grammar Using Corpora: A Case Study

Ivano Celentano*

*Corresponding author

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This work examines the potential of the integration of the data-driven corpus-based methodology for an inductive and learner-centred approach to foreign language teaching. Aim of the case study conducted in an Italian linguistic high school is that of evaluating the benefit of the direct use of corpora in the form of Data Driven Learning tasks (DDL) in a traditional classroom. In particular, the activity was all about analysing features of form, meaning and use in the prepositional verbs consist in and consist of. The research questions investigated were the strategies and the abilities required by the students in order to benefit the most from the corpus-driven activity and more generally to what extent can Learners’ Language Awareness improve through corpus-driven DDL tasks; an important role was also played by the class teacher who assisted me with the data analysis. Practically, students took a fill the gap task to test their pre-knowledge of the subject matter, then a list of concordances were handed out and the students were asked to analyse these data and take notes about all the above-mentioned features they could retrace. Afterwards, a similar test-sheet was given out to check learners’ enhancement. The results reveal the high effectiveness of this task as a support to the traditional learning materials, like grammar textbooks. The overall percentage of learners’ improvement reached a pick of +50.53%, which opens to promising scenarios for a constant integrated use of DDL activities in language classes in order to improve teaching and learning success.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Trends in Foreign Language Teaching: Methods, Evaluation and Innovation
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
EventNew Trends in Foreign Language Teaching - Università di Granada Spagna
Duration: 28 Apr 201629 Apr 2016


ConferenceNew Trends in Foreign Language Teaching
CityUniversità di Granada Spagna


  • Corpora
  • Data Driven Learning
  • Grammar
  • Teaching


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