Some references on Usage-based language learning approaches

Ellis, N. (2017) Chapter 6 – Chunking in Language Usage, Learning and Change: I Don’t Know from Part III – Chunking. Edited by Marianne Hundt, Universität Zürich, Sandra Mollin, Universität Heidelberg, Simone E. Pfenninger, Universität Salzburg. Cambridge University Press, pp 113-147

Ellis, N. (2017). Cognition, Corpora, and Computing: Triangulating Research in Usage‐Based Language Learning. Language Learning, 67(S1), 40-65.

Ellis, Nick C., & Ferreira-Junior, Fernando. (2009). Construction Learning as a Function of Frequency, Frequency Distribution, and Function. Modern Language Journal, 93(3), 370-385.

Tyler, A. (2010). Usage-Based Approaches to Language and Their Applications to Second Language Learning. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 30, 270-291.

Tyler, A., & Ortega, L. (2016). Usage-based approaches to language and language learning: An introduction to the special issue. 8(3), 335-345.

Tyler, A. (2018). Nick C. Ellis Ute Römer Matthew Brook O’Donnell: Usage-based approaches to language acquisition and processing: Cognitive and corpus investigations of construction grammar. Cognitive Linguistics, 29(1), 155-161.

Weber, Kirsten Morten H. Christiansen Peter Indefrey Peter Hagoort (2018) Primed From the Start: Syntactic Priming During the First Days of Language Learning. Language Learning.

Free copy of our latest paper in Computer Assisted Language Learning

Our article, Language teachers’ perceptions on the use of OER language processing technologies in MALL, has just been published on Computer Assisted Language Learning Journal, Taylor & Francis Online.

50 free eprints can be downloaded from the following URL:

Get yours now!!!!


Combined with the ubiquity and constant connectivity of mobile devices, and with innovative approaches such as Data-Driven Learning (DDL), Natural Language Processing Technologies (NLPTs) as Open Educational Resources (OERs) could become a powerful tool for language learning as they promote individual and personalized learning. Using a questionnaire that was answered by language teachers (n = 230) in Spain and the UK, this research explores the extent to which OER NLPTs are currently known and used in adult foreign language learning. Our results suggest that teachers’ familiarity and use of OER NLPTs are very low. Although online dictionaries, collocation dictionaries and spell checkers are widely known, NLPTs appear to be generally underused in foreign language teaching. It was found that teachers prefer computer-based environments over mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets and that teachers’ qualification determines their familiarity with a wider range of OER NLPTs. This research offers insight into future applications of Language Processing Technologies as OERs in language learning.

KEYWORDS: Language learning, teachers’ perceptions, OER, MALL, natural language processing technologies, higher education

TAALES 2.2 is out : automatic analysis of lexical sophistication, Windows and Mac

From the TAALES website:

Kyle, K. & Crossley, S. A. (2015). Automatically assessing lexical sophistication: Indices, tools, findings, and application. TESOL Quarterly 49(4), pp. 757-786. doi: 10.1002/tesq.194

TAALES is a tool that measures over 400 classic and new indices of lexical sophistication, and includes indices related to a wide range of sub-constructs. TAALES indices have been used to inform models of second language (L2) speaking proficiency, first language (L1) and L2 writing proficiency, spoken and written lexical proficiency, genre differences, and satirical language.

Starting with version 2.2, TAALES provides comprehensive index diagnostics, including text-level coverage output (i.e., the percent of words/bigrams/trigrams in a text covered by the index) AND individual word/bigram/trigram index coverage information.

TAALES takes plain text files as input (it will process all plain text files in a particular folder) and produces a comma separated values (.csv) spreadsheet that is easily read by any spreadsheet software.


You can find all the info here. Windows and Mac versions available for free.

4th Learner Corpus Research Conference, Bolzano, Italy, 5‐7 October 2017

4th Learner Corpus Research Conference
Bolzano/Bozen, Italy, 5‐7 October 2017


Abstracts should be submitted through EasyChair by Sunday 15 January 2017.

Notification of the outcome of the review process will be sent by 31 March 2017.

Call for Papers

Following the successful conferences in Louvain‐la‐Neuve (Belgium) in 2011, Bergen (Norway) in 2013 and Nijmegen (the Netherlands) in 2015, the 4th Learner Corpus Research Conference will be hosted by the Institute for Specialised Communication and Multilingualism at EURAC Research, Bolzano/Bozen, Italy. The conference, organized under the aegis of the Learner Corpus Association, aims to be a showcase for the latest developments in the field and will feature full paper presentations, work in progress reports, poster presentations, software demos and a book exhibition.

The theme of LCR 2017 is “Widening the Scope of Learner Corpus Research”.

Conference Venue: European Academy Bozen/Bolzano – EURAC Research

Confirmed keynote speakers:

Philip Durrant (University of Exeter, United Kingdom)
Stefan Th. Gries (University of California, Santa Barbara, U.S.A.)
Stefania Spina (Università per Stranieri Perugia, Italy)
The keynote speakers will adress the theme of LCR 2017 in their respective lectures on L1 writing  development and Learner Corpus Research, quantitative methods in Learner Corpus Research, and Learner Corpus Research and Italian as L2. We welcome papers that address all aspects of Learner  Corpus Research, in particular the following ones:

* Corpora as pedagogical resources
* Corpus‐based transfer studies
* Data mining and other explorative approaches to learner corpora
* English as a Lingua Franca
* Error detection and correction of learner language
* Extracting language features from learner corpora
* Innovative annotations in learner corpora
* Language for academic/specific purposes
* Learner varieties
* Learner corpora for less commonly taught languages
* Learner Corpus Research and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)
* Learner Corpus Research and Natural Language Processing
* Links between Learner Corpus Research and other research methodologies (e.g. experimental methods)
* Search engines for learner corpora
* Statistical methods in learner corpus studies
* Task and learner variables

There will be four different categories of presentation:

* Full paper (20 minutes + 10 minutes for discussion)
* Work in Progress (WiP) report (10 minutes + 5 minutes for discussion)
* Corpus/software demonstration
* Poster
* The Work in Progress reports and posters are intended to present research still at a preliminary stage and on which researchers would like to get feedback.

The language of the conference is English.

Your abstract should be between 600 and 700 words (excluding a list of references). Abstracts should  provide the following:
* clearly articulated research question(s) and its/their relevance;
* the most important details about research approach, data and methods;
* the main results and their interpretation.

Abstracts should be submitted through EasyChair ( by Sunday 15 January 2017. Please follow instructions provided on the conference website (
Abstracts will be reviewed anonymously by the scientific committee. Notification of the outcome of  the review process will be sent by 31 March 2017.

The LCR 2017 organising committee
Andrea Abel (EURAC Research)
María Belén Díez‐Bedmar (Universidad de Jaén)
Daniela Gasser (EURAC Research)
Aivars Glaznieks (EURAC Research)
Verena Lyding (EURAC Research)
Lionel Nicolas (EURAC Research)

The LCR 2017 scientific committee
Andrea Abel (EURAC Research)
Katherine Ackerley (Università degil Studi di Padova)
Annelie Ädel (Dalarna University)
Nicolas Ballier (Université Paris Diderot – Paris 7)
María Belén Díez‐Bedmar (Universidad de Jaén)
Marcus Callies (Universität Bremen)
Erik Castello (Università degil Studi di Padova)
Francesca Coccetta (Università Ca’Foscari Venezia)
Pieter de Haan (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen)
Hilde Hasselgård (Universitet i Oslo)
Sandra Deshors (New Mexico State University)
Ana Diaz‐Negrillo (Universidad de Granada)
Michael Flor (ETS)
John Flowerdew (City University of Hong Kong)
Lynne Flowerdew (independent researcher)
Fanny Forsberg Lundell (Stockholm University)
Gaëtanelle Gilquin (University of Louvain)
Sandra Götz (Justus Liebig Universität Gießen)
Solveig Granath (Karlstad University)
Sylviane Granger (Universtié catholique de Louvain)
Nicholas Groom (University of Birmingham)
Jirka Hana (Charles University Prague)
Shin’ichiro Ishikawa (Kobe University)
Jarmo Harri Jantunen (University of Jyväskylä)
Scott Jarvis (Ohio University)
Marie Källkvist (Lund University Sweden)
Agnieszka Lenko‐Szymanska (University of Warsaw)
Anke Lüdeling (Humboldt‐Universität Berlin)
Carla Marello (Università degil Studi Torino)
Fanny Meunier (Universtié catholique de Louvain)
Detmar Meurers (Universität Tübingen)
Florence Myles (University of Essex)
Susan Nacey (Hedmark University College)
Lionel Nicolas (EURAC Research)
Michael O’Donnell (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
Signe Oksefjell Ebeling (Universitetet i Oslo)
Magali Paquot (Universtié catholique de Louvain/FNRS)
Pascual Pérez‐Paredes (University of Cambridge)
Tom Rankin (Vienna University of Economics and Business)
Paul Rayson (UCREL, Lancaster University)
Ute Römer (University of Michigan)
Anna Siyanova‐Chanturia (Victoria University of Wellington)
Jennifer Thewissen (Universiteit Antwerpen)
Yukio Tono (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
Nina Vyatkina (University of Kansas)
Heike Zinsmeister (Universität Hamburg)

For inquiries, contact Andrea Abel: Andrea . Abel @ eurac . edu

Why is legal language so complicated? Legislative drafters and linguists compare notes



Why is legal language so complicated? Legislative drafters and linguists compare notes
Wednesday  29 June 2016, 14.00 to 17.30
Venue:  Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR

Description: The last decades have witnessed important innovations in legislative drafting but  have we succeeded in producing perfect laws? Just because a bill has passed into law does not mean that its goals have been achieved. Indeed, the quality of legislation may not only be affected by the intrinsic drafting difficulties; the implementation of legislation may be significantly influenced by a range of ‘filtering agents’ at whom legislation is directed and who may constrain, adapt and modify the intentions that form the basis of the legislation approved in the first place. Looking at more ‘scientific’ disciplines, such as linguistics, may be of some help for the legislative drafter who wants to know how a piece of legislation has performed and the extent to which its goals will be achieved.

Hayley Rogers, Office of the Parliamentary Counsel, UK;
Maria De Benedetto, Roma Tre University, Italy;
Jerome Tessuto, University of Naples Federico II, Italy (TBC);
Stephen Neal, Professor of Philosophy and Linguistics, CUNY Graduate Center, New York, USA; Professor of Language and Law, School of Advanced Study, University of London;
James Hadley, Institute of Modern Languages Research, School of Advanced Study (SAS), University of London;
William Robinson, Associate Research Fellow, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London;

Chair: Giulia Adriana Pennisi, University of Palermo, Italy and Associate Research Fellow, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London


BOOKING:  This event is free but advance booking is requested.  To book please use the IALS Eventbrite page:

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