Ebeling, Signe and Leedham, Maria
What can the BAWE Corpus tell us about student development?
In: Writing Development in Higher Education (WDHE) Conference, 11-12 May 2006, The Open University, Milton Keynes.
The British Academic Written English Corpus is currently under construction at the Universities of Oxford Brookes, Reading and Warwick. It is being compiled within the framework of the ESRC project "An investigation of genres of assessed writing in British Higher Education".
The corpus will include 3,000 good quality student assignments from four disciplinary groupings (Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences, Life Sciences and Physical Sciences) with contributions from students within 36 different university departments and will provide a snapshot of students’ academic writing in the early 21st century.
This presentation will explore the ways in which student development can be identified on the basis of relatively large data. We will look at the actual assignments and the contextual data available for each of them (e.g. student age, year of study). Combining this with corpus linguistics methods, we hope to be able to track student development in writing skills at various levels (e.g. individual development, structural development). The structure of the corpus enables us to look at development within disciplines as well as variation across the disciplines represented in the corpus.
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