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TALC: Pre-conference Workshops

Exploring variation and intertextuality in L2 undergraduate writing in English: Using the Corpus and Repository of Writing Online Platform for research and teaching
Workshop leaders

Adriana Picoral is a PhD student in the Second Language Acquisition and Teaching program at University of Arizona. Her research interests include corpus linguistics, computational linguistics, and technology-enhanced language teaching. Her work includes research on the compilation and automated annotation of multilingual corpora. She also investigates cross-linguistic influences in language produced by multilingual learners.

Shelley Staples is Associate Professor of English Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition and Teaching at University of Arizona. Her research focuses on corpus analyses of speech and writing, particularly for applications to language teaching. Her work has recently been published in journals such as Journal of English for Academic Purposes, English for Specific Purposes Journal, Journal of Second Language Writing, Modern Language Journal, and Applied Linguistics.

Ji-young Shin is a PhD student in the Second Language Studies/ESL program at Purdue University. Originally from South Korea, Ji-young has diverse professional backgrounds in secondary education. Her main research interests are language testing/assessment and corpus linguistics, and their interface with second language acquisition. Specifically, she is interested in quantitative methods for validity and validation in language testing and linguistic evidence in second language development for academic writing and communication.

Aleksandra Swatek is a PhD student in the Second Language Studies/ESL program at Purdue University. In her research she focuses on second language writing, rhetoric and composition as well as corpus linguistics.


The Corpus and Repository of Writing (Crow) is the first online platform to integrate a corpus of texts produced by L2 writers of English in their early undergraduate years with a repository of the pedagogical materials that these students use to create their texts and formulate their arguments. It represents a collaboration across five U.S. institutions and includes over 30 researchers (see for more information). The Crow corpus currently contains over 8 million words from two institutions (Purdue University and University of Arizona) and represents over ten genres of university level scholarly and non-scholarly writing (e.g., rhetorical analyses, literature reviews, literacy narratives, proposals, research papers, genre analyses, tweets, Facebook posts). It also contains rich metadata (e.g., country of origin, TOEFL scores, students’ majors, drafts) that can be selected within the online platform. Individual students’ written work can also be tracked across the different genres they produce. A beta version of our online platform will be available in May 2018, and TALC participants will be the first to interact with the platform outside our research team. Our goal for this workshop match the conference aims: to promote the creation of corpus-informed teaching materials based on Crow, integrating a discussion between practitioners and researchers.

Workshop attendants will engage in corpus research and create corpus-based classroom activities. They will learn how to:
A) Search the original corpus using conventional corpus tools (e.g., concordancer)
B) Refine corpus searches by locating texts in a genre of interest
C) Find assignment sheets or lesson plans related to the same genres of interest in the repository
D) Filter search results through available metadata (e.g., the major of the author at the time of data collection, country of origin, and TOEFL scores)
E) Add selected texts to a working corpus (i.e., a customized collection of texts built directly on the Crow platform by each participant)
F) Use Crow’s built-in tools to code for intertextuality
Participants will also have time to work in pairs or small groups to develop pedagogical materials using Crow for their own classroom context.

After our workshop, participants will be able to: 1) use Crow to explore linguistic and rhetorical features, including those related to intertextuality in the texts of L2 writers of English, 2) discuss how information from these searches can be further developed for research and inform language teaching and, 3) develop classroom activities based on the corpus and repository available in the Crow platform.

Will the workshop participants need to bring their own devives?

Yes. There is no need to download or install anything in advance. Everything used in the workshop will be self-contained in the online platform. Participants can use their tablets, and Crow works across different platforms (Windows and Mac).