Spreading the word: The challenge of the corpus as an agent of change

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Analysis of the British Academic Written English (BAWE) corpus has revealed similarities and differences in student writing across disciplines, levels of study and ‘families’ of genres that have implications for assessment practices across the academy. So far, however, findings from the corpus have only been published in papers addressing fellow corpus linguists, and have been expressed in ways incomprehensible to many teaching staff and students outside our discipline. Now a follow-on project has led to the creation of corpus-based academic writing activities for the British Council LearnEnglish website. This paper describes the process of selecting and presenting corpus evidence for a new readership, linking traditional CALL-style exercises to genre- and discipline-specific Sketch Engine displays and our ‘Wordtree’ corpus interface. It is hoped that the materials will help to bring about changes to the way academic writing is taught, as well as stimulating further corpus-driven research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-11
Number of pages8
JournalProcedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event5th International Conference on Corpus Linguistics (CILC 2013) - University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain
Duration: 14 Mar 201316 Mar 2013
Conference number: 5


  • Academic writing
  • BAWE corpus
  • CALL
  • Genre analysis
  • EAP
  • Materials development


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