TaLC 12 - Teaching and Language Corpora Conference
Various issues relating to the questions of learner corpus researches and their use in teaching are presented. These include the issue of a norm in corpora whether the norm should necessarily be native and what problems a native norm may present. Learners who behave differently from native speakers do not necessarily use language incorrectly as an alternative to a unique, native norm, a range of norms are available Some of these norms may be problematic if they are not selected carefully (depending on the learner corpus, the purpose of the comparison, etc.) and handled cautiously. Different choices of norms may produce different results and thus lead to different conclusions with respect to learners’ usages. Pedagogical implications of such choices are to be examined, with particular emphasis on whether all differences between the learner corpus and the reference corpus should be targeted for teaching intervention. Problems in evaluating agreement in approaches to annotation practices are considered as well.
The scope and the level of change suggested by an annotator cannot be formally defined, and besides, it is not often that two persons - native speakers or fluent speakers of a foreign language – will not differ in their intuitive perception of what is acceptable in the language. However, if annotators stick to the decision to restrict corrections to those that they find absolutely necessary to stay within the norm, first, and, second, if for the chosen correction they select tags only for the core change, and not for all the words that have to change as a result of the core change, the variation across annotators is bound to reduce dramatically. Both these requirements accompanied by examples from the corpus are to be included in the REALEC Annotation Manual, and some training based on complicated cases from the experiment described above will be presented to all the annotators.
We have performed analysis of problematic cases of annotators inconsistency to reveal weaknesses and strengths of the annotation scheme.