Inter-Varietal Applied Corpus Studies

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Description of Activity

Title: The citation skills of Chinese students entering pre-sessional EAP courses in the UK: From corpus-based research to pedagogic activities Abstract: Learner corpora have long been argued as having potential for both research and pedagogy (Thompson & Tribble, 2001; Boulton, 2010). This presentation documents results from my own corpus-based study comparing the citation practices of undergraduate writers of Chinese origin attending EAP Pre-Sessional courses, with those observable in proficient academic writing from the British Academic Written English corpus (Nesi et al, 2009). Focusing predominantly, as previous research (Hyland, 2002; Bloch, 2010; Nesi, 2014), on the variable of reporting verb selection, the study adopts the perspective of logogenesis, or “the ongoing creation of meaning in the unfolding of text” (Halliday & Matthiesen, 2004:43) to illustrate the helpful or hindering effects on students’ text coherence from rhetorically (un)conventional reporting verb choices and their juxtaposition with co-text elements.I argue that pedagogic focus on rhetorical meanings of a small number of reporting verbs (Bloch, 2010) including those over-represented (say, show) and under-represented (argue, suggest, believe) in the EAP students’ writing, could be expedient for addressing observed difficulties in student citation and ‘voice’ construction. In evidence, I illustrate my application of logogenesis to the discourse analysis of learner corpus extracts; and consider the likely value of an analogous, but student-centred, activity within EAP classrooms.
Period16 Jun 2016
Event typeConference
LocationBath, United Kingdom


  • corpus linguistics
  • learner corpora
  • Citation / Referencing
  • reporting verbs
  • EAP
  • Data-driven learning