AZTESOL 2021 Workshop

On October 23rd, 2021, we were excited to host an online workshop at the Arizona Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (AZTESOL) 2021 conference. The goal of our workshop, “Exploring tense-agreement issues in L2 writing using a learner corpus,” was to introduce the Crow platform and show how to use concordance lines to help students identify and understand tense-agreement patterns. Our team consisted of Ph.D. student Anh Dang, Ph.D. student Hui Wang, and Ph.D. candidate Ali Yaylali. 

Screenshot of slide containing the text: "Exploring tense-agreement issues in L2 writing using a learner corpus. Crow, the Corpus & Repository of Writing. AZTESOL State Conference 2021. October 22–23, 2021."
First slide from AZTESOL 2021 workshop 

What we shared at AZTESOL 2021

During the workshop, attendees were introduced to Crow learner corpora and Data-Driven Learning (DDL) by reviewing authentic sentence samples and grammatical forms from students’ texts. After the introduction, we guided attendees through an interactive corpus-based activity that contained three parts: 

1) Noticing verb tenses in learner writing.

In this section, participants read a list of sentences selected from Crow corpus, and identified the tense-agreement patterns by answering the guiding questions.

2) Searching the concordance lines. 

In this activity, participants looked at some concordance lines from Crow corpus, and answered the questions regarding the patterns and different tenses.

3) Independent practice.

We provided two options in the last part. Participants can either revise tense-agreement issues in an excerpt from Crow corpus or revise the issues in their own paper. They can make a decision based on their own teaching context.

During the activity, attendees were invited to use the embedded scrollable concordance lines to observe keywords and tense pattern variations. We then guided workshop participants to try the independent practice: finding and revising the tense agreement issues in the authentic excerpt. 

Screen shot of concordance lines showing a query for "what," with about 20 lines of text showing that key word in context.
Example of concordance lines used for the corpus-based activity

After sharing the activity demo, we provided some questions for the participants to discuss how they can adapt and implement this activity to fit their own instructional context and student needs. Some of the participants mentioned they needed to have more scaffolding activities in K-12 context. We were excited to hear their feedback on the activity design and valuable ideas on the activity application.


After our workshop, participants were invited  to:

  1. Download and print out our activity handout to implement this activity in their future teaching;
  2. Use the Crow platform to explore the linguistic features of students writing;
  3. Develop effective activities based on available data and information from our platform;
  4. Guide students to raise awareness and accuracy by using authentic language samples. 

Workshop materials  

We’ve included the materials we presented here. 

Thank you for your interest! We also thank all participants and organizers for their support. We look forward to attending AZTESOL next year.