Thematic sessions


1) Language for Specific Purposes Learner Corpora

Convenor: Magali Paquot, Centre for English Corpus Linguistics, Université catholique de Louvain

Learner corpora have predominantly been collected in the context of foreign/second language courses for general purposes (e.g. the International Corpus of Learner English). A very promising but as yet less widespread data type is the Language for Specific Purposes (LSP) learner corpus, which contains discipline and genre-specific texts produced by learners within the framework of LSP or content courses (cf. Granger & Paquot, forthcoming).

The main objective of the “Language for Specific Purposes Learner Corpora” thematic session is to bring together researchers that are particularly interested in the collection, annotation and analysis of LSP learner corpora and their practical applications.

Papers on the following topics are particularly welcome:

  • Collection, design and annotation of written, spoken and multimodal LSP learner corpora
  • Automated analyses of LSP learner corpora and descriptions of L2 learners’ difficulties in writing or speaking in a specific discipline
  • Comparisons of ‘general’ and LSP learner corpora
  • Comparisons of expert and learner LSP corpora
  • Comparisons of LSP learner language across disciplines and/or text types
  • Added value of LSP learner corpora for lexicography, testing, CALL, etc.
  • Design of LSP learner corpus-informed learning and teaching methods and tools

Papers will be allotted 30 minutes (20 minutes of presentation + 10 minutes for discussion).


Granger, S. & Paquot, M. (forthcoming). Language for Specific Purposes Learner Corpora . In Chapelle, C.A. (ed) The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Blackwell-Wiley.


2) Learner Corpora and Cognitivism

Convenor: Fanny Meunier, Centre for English Corpus Linguistics, Université catholique de Louvain

Back in 1999, Schönefeld pointed the complementarity of assumptions made by cognitive linguists and corpus linguists. Since then, the value of corpus data has been illustrated in numerous studies dealing with lexical and grammatical issues (see for instance Gries & Stefanowitsch 2006 or Gonzales-Marquez et al. 2007). Other convergences have been highlighted between cognition and instruction (Ellis & Robinson 2008), corpora and pedagogy (Granger et al. 2002, O’Keeffe et al. 2007) and even between the three paradigms (Meunier 2009).

This session aims to bring together researchers working with learner corpora (either as their main source of data or in combination with other data types) to help account for cognitive processes at play in second language acquisition. The focus can be on any aspect of the language (lexis, grammar, discourse, etc.). We are also particularly interested in papers that propose pedagogical applications of the research results.

Papers will be allotted 30 minutes (20 minutes of presentation + 10 minutes for discussion).


Ellis, N. and Robinson, P. (2008). An introduction to Cognitive Linguistics, Second Language Acquisition, and language instruction. In Robinson, P. and Ellis, N. (eds) Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition. New York & London: Routledge, 3-24.

Gonzalez-Marquez, M., Mittelberg, I., Coulson, S. and Spivey, M. (2007). Methods in Cognitive Linguistics. Cornell: Cornell University.

Granger, S., Hung, J. and Petch-Tyson, S. (eds) (2002). Computer Learner Corpora, Second Language Acquisition and Foreign Language Teaching. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Gries, S. and Stefanowitsch, A. (eds) (2006). Corpora in Cognitive Linguistics: Corpus-based Approaches to Syntax And Lexis. Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs 172. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Meunier, F. (2008). Corpora, cognition and pedagogical grammars: An account of convergences and divergences. In De Knop, S. and T. De Rycker (eds) Cognitive Approaches to Pedagogical Grammar. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 91-119.

O'Keeffe, A., McCarthy, M. and Carter, R. (2007). From Corpus to Classroom. Language use and language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Schönefeld, D. (1999). Corpus linguistics and cognitivism. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 4(1): 137-171.


3) Learner Corpora and World Englishes

Convenor: Gaëtanelle Gilquin, Centre for English Corpus Linguistics, Université catholique de Louvain

Over twenty years ago, Sridhar & Sridhar (1986) called for a rapprochement between Second Language Acquisition (SLA) and the study of indigenised varieties of English (nowadays often referred to as “World Englishes”). While this idea was not followed by any concrete effects for several years, the advent of learner corpora (like the International Corpus of Learner English) and corpora representing indigenised varieties of English (like the International Corpus of English) has provided us with the necessary tools to perform systematic and comprehensive comparisons of Learner Englishes and World Englishes. Studies such as that by Nesselhauf (2009) or those found in Mukherjee & Hundt (forthcoming) show that similarities between the two types of varieties exist and that this line of research is indeed worth pursuing.

The aim of this thematic session is to bring the fields of SLA and World Englishes one step closer to each other by examining the possible links and synergies between Learner Englishes and indigenised varieties of English, as they emerge from corpora. We welcome submissions that seek to bring out similarities and differences between the two types of varieties. Any aspect of English will be considered, from syntax to lexis through pragmatics, provided the investigation relies on corpus data. We are particularly interested in papers that deal with the theoretical significance of attested parallelisms, as well as their implications for domains such as language teaching, language testing or language policy. Papers that combine corpus data with data of a more experimental nature to approach the link between SLA and World Englishes are also welcome.

Papers will be allotted 30 minutes (20 minutes of presentation + 10 minutes for discussion).


Mukherjee J. & Hundt M. (eds) (forthcoming). Exploring Second-Language Varieties of English and Learner Englishes: Bridging a Paradigm Gap. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Nesselhauf, N. (2009). Co-selection phenomena across New Englishes: Parallels (and differences) to foreign learner varieties. English World-Wide 30(1): 1-25.

Sridhar, K.K. & Sridhar, S.N. (1986). Bridging the paradigm gap: Second language acquisition theory and indigenized varieties of English. World Englishes 5(1): 3-14.