Photo of Simon Smith
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Personal profile

Biography

I am one of an increasing number of published, research-active corpus linguists who consider themselves first and foremost language teachers. I have worked in universities in Taiwan and mainland China for ten years before coming to Coventry

My research is on the use of corpora (big computer databases of authentic language) for language teaching and learning. Through the use of large samples of real language in use, students are able to learn autonomously, discovering linguistic patterns for themselves, rather than memorising grammar patterns and vocabulary presented by a teacher. Recent published work has focused on both Chinese and English learning

Managing the research-teaching balance is an ongoing challenge. I devise and adapt resources in a way that inspires students to work on their English, and (I believe) create a relaxed and enjoyable classroom atmosphere that is conducive to learning. My students know the purpose of each lesson, are acquiring a variety of linguistic and analytical skills, and are moving towards a more holistic view of their learning, understanding the connections between different aspects of their study experience

I make extensive use of technology in my teaching. Apart from corpora, I am interested in webquests, interactive language lab activities, and virtual learning environments (VLE) such as Moodle

Research Interests

Corpus query tools ; Computational linguistics; Chinese teaching and learning ; English for Academic Purposes (EAP) ; Data-driven language learning (DDL) ; Corpora in language teaching and learning ; Computer assisted language learning (CALL)

I am a member of two research groups: Corpus Linguistics at Coventry (CLaC) and Centre for Global Learning: Education and Attainment (GLEA). In GLEA, I will be focusing on international telecollaborative (OIL) projects involving students of English academic writing in an approach called Stimulus Writing. Also I will be working on a Chinese version of Sketch Engine for Language Learning, a significant corpus-based platform available for the study of English and other languages. This will involve the development of an adaptive, learner-friendly segmenter for Chinese. I am preparing an application to EPSRC for this work.

External positions

English editor, Taiwan International ESP Journal

25 Jun 2014 → …

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