Article: Corpus-informed instruction of reporting verbs

Crow team members Ji-young Shin, Ashley Velázquez, Ola Swatek, and Shelley Staples are pleased to announce the publication of an article with Purdue alum R. Scott Partridge. This is the first of several we expect to see coming out of our work with reporting verbs.

Examining the Effectiveness of Corpus-Informed Instruction of Reporting Verbs in L2 First-Year College Writing” appears in L2 Journal, issue 10.3. Here’s the abstract:

Previous research has shown that developing second language (L2) academic writers use a limited set of reporting verbs in comparison to more advanced writers (Biber & Reppen, 1998; Hinkel, 2003; Kwon, Staples, & Partridge, 2018; Neff et al., 2003; Staples & Reppen, 2016). These writers also tend to rely on verbs that are typical for conversation (Biber et al., 1999). The present study examines the effects of corpus-informed instruction on developing L2 writers’ learning of reporting verbs in a first-year writing course by comparing drafts of literature reviews before and after a workshop. The forty-five-minute workshop was designed to improve L2 writers’ lexical and functional uses of reporting verbs using corpus-informed materials. The researchers compared the literature review drafts written by 40 students who participated in the workshop to 38 randomly chosen drafts from our corpus. The results show an increase in the experimental groups’ reporting verb lexical variety and a decrease in the use of verb types used in speech in favor of types used in academic writing. The results suggest that corpus-informed instruction may support L2 writers in the development of lexical and functional reporting verb use.

Well done Ji-Young, Ashley, Ola, Shelley, and Scott!