Integrating real life applications with text analysis

Leedham, Maria (2023). Integrating real life applications with text analysis. In: Leedham, Maria; Tagg, Caroline and Tuck, Jackie eds. Online Pedagogy and the Student Experience: Teaching Applied Linguistics and Beyond, Volume 1. London, UK (In Press): Open University Press, McGraw-Hill.


Teaching text analysis using grammatical theory is a central tenet of applied linguistics and provides a foundation for specialisations such as sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics and language teaching. The shift to online teaching has made a greater array of resources available to lecturers for use in this endeavour. Some of these resources mimic those of print analysis (e.g. the ability to highlight, annotate, snip and paste text), while others exploit the additional affordances of digital study (e.g. click and reveal comment, integration of audiovisual material and hyperlinks to additional webpages), enabling a closer and more immediate connection between reading and writing (e.g. Warschauer et al. 2013). Online study also brings increased opportunities for peer collaboration through messaging tools, video chat and the co-creation of documents.

This chapter discusses online teaching of text analysis in terms of both the exploitation of the affordances offered by digital study and motivating students through the use of interesting, authentic data. The aim throughout is to create meaningful learning contexts in order to enhance students’ learning and help them to develop an integrative and extended understanding of the subject area (Biggs 2003). Discussion is exemplified throughout with screenshots of activities and audiovisual material from the Open University 60 credit, third year undergraduate module Exploring English grammar, with suggestions added for teaching online in the broader HE context.

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