Return to CALL resources page
See Text Analysis: Sources of Text Corpora
See Text Analysis: Concordance and Collocation

Concordancing with Students

This page was prepared for a seminar presented by Vance Stevens
for the Amideast MLI/UAE Project, Abu Dhabi, April 26, 1999

Introduction to concordancing

(1) What is a concordance program?

(2) Example activities that can be done with concordancers

The basic tools you need to get started

(1) A concordance program

(2) A set of texts to concordance

A set of texts having something in common (e.g., all from Australia) is called a "corpus".

Practical applications

The questions below were for the most part posed by students in the EFI class, Writing for Webheads. In the materials that I plan to prepare, we will construct exercises that can help students to answer these questions for themselves.

When doing concordances with students, ALWAYS do a trial run yourself. Assign the students a corpus and DO the exercise you have in mind in that corpus or be prepared for unexpected or disappointing results.

(1) How can you use concordancing to prepare an exercise to help this student with his question?

What is the difference in the words remember and remind? Are the following notions accurate?

Do you remember me? I used to sit at the back of your class. (correct)

Can you remember me? I used to sit at the back of your class. (Is this wrong?)

The flowers reminded him his garden. (Is this wrong?)

Can you send me a set of sentences (about 20 sentences if you can) where I am supposed to fill in the blanks using "remember" or "remind".. I would appreciate it a lot.

Click here to see a solution

(2) A teacher of technical English claims that the word "resistor" is very difficult for his students, probably because they are not familiar with the root word, "resist."

Click here to see a solution

There are many words that have similar meanings. They can be very confusing, especially if they are used in different situations. For example, in this lesson we can find:

personnel, employment, position, job, work

How do we know which one to use?

When do I use person, persons, people, peoples ?

Do you know a quick way to build your adjective vocabulary? Here is a trick:

If you want to make a verb into an adjective which means "possible", add "able" to the verb.

For example:

play - playable - The music is not too difficult. It is playable.

enjoy - enjoyable - The concert is really good. It is enjoyable.

Do you know a quick way to build your noun vocabulary? Here is a trick:

Many people (jobs, titles, etc.) words are a verb + "er" or "or". For example:

teach - teacher - I teach at a school. I'm a teacher.

contract - contractor - I have a contract with my employer. I'm a contractor.

To travel in means inside something...I like to travel in Europe. It means within a certain area.

To travel to means to go somewhere as in the direction where. I will travel to the US this summer.

"There are many fairy tales where a person is granted his or her heart's desire." Is it correct, if I say like this: There are so many ways to help someone if a person has his or her heart's desire to help. Please help me to understand what is the meaning of this.

what's difference between "I am at home" and "I am home"?

Visits since April 24, 1999 -:

Use your browser's BACK button to return to a previous page

For comments, suggestions, or further information on this page, contact Vance Stevens, page author and webmaster.

Last updated: December 9, 1999