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Volume 1 Number 1, Spring 2004, Pages 1-403   

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Course-Specific Corpora in the Classroom:A News Media English Class in Taiwan

    Shiauping Tian, Limin Liu

This study explores the feasibility of constructing a learning tool with the benefits of data-driven learning from a course-specific corpus and integrating it into a news media English class. Given the popularity of news media English classes in some Asian countries and the call in recent years for instructors to construct smaller and more specialized corpora to meet specific instructional objectives, an on-line system for assisting teaching and reading of English news was developed and used in a university-level news media English class in Taiwan. A lesson incorporating the system was designed and implemented. The lesson aimed at teaching the discourse features of news stories and improving English in general. After the lesson, students' responses to using the system were obtained by a questionnaire survey. Results of the questionnaire survey indicated an overall positive response to incorporating the learning tool into a news media English class along with suggestions for system design. The paper concludes with implications for future use of the system and possible ways to improve the design of systems for similar purposes.