In this chapter, we report the outcomes of a short course designed to empower students to investigate style and register variation for themselves using the principles of corpus stylistics. We begin by introducing students to the concept of foregrounding and to a user-friendly interface for exploring the British National Corpus (BNC). Students then use the corpus to complete a series of worksheets aimed at identifying the norms associated with an academic register. Tasks are focused on the use of personal pronouns, contractions, initial coordinating conjunctions, absolute referents and slang/informal/idiomatic items. Following this, the students are asked to use the BNC to support their writing of a short research paper. Based on the outcomes of our study, we suggest that on a short course and with limited training, restricted use of the BNC interface and concepts of foregrounding may be of value in enabling students to identify basic patterns of appropriate language use.
|Title of host publication||Pedagogical Stylistics in the 21st Century|
|Editors||Sonia Zyngier, Greg Watson|
|Place of Publication||Basingstoke|
|Number of pages||30|
|Publication status||Published - 22 Feb 2022|