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Препринт

Student vocabulary expansion with the help of a learner corpus

In general English courses, as well as in preparation for examination in particular, students need much feedback when they submit written works. Besides tips concerning content, coherence and cohesion, grammatical range and accuracy – standardly included in instructor’s comments, efficient advice touches upon directions to lexical improvements a student will be better off following. However, such feedback requires a huge amount of time and effort on the part of the instructor, whose workload as a rule keeps getting heavier, and not at all lighter. In a way to make use of the many samples of student writing in the learner corpus, the authors decided to set up a system of automated lexical inspection of student works. First, we used essays in the corpus to work out which formal parameters in the essays allow to distinguish essays that have been evaluated as good by the examination experts, and then we demonstrated the correlation between the inspection results and the traditional grading. Finally, a system of lexical inspection of student essays is to pave way to the automated development of lexical feedback to orient students how to improve the lexical variety in their writing.