Google-Informed Patter-Hunting and Pattern-Defining: Implication for Language Pedagogy

Ebrahim Panah, Melor Md Yunus, Mohamed Amin Embi


The use of the Web as a corpus and Google as a concordancer, has been regarded as one of the promising areas that has a potential for revolutionizing language pedagogy in general, and second language (L2) writing, in particular. More specifically, it is believed that the functions of Google-Informed Pattern-Hunting (GIPH) and Google-Informed Pattern-Defining (GIPD) can promote natural L2 writing through Discovery Learning (DL) and Data Driven Learning (DDL), however, these advantages have mostly been given lip services than tested with first hand empirical studies, and only more recently some studies have been undertaken in this vein. Focusing on L2, this article explored how and to what extent this great potential of GIPH and GIPD has been recognized by reviewing the related studies, thereby some factors and themes (such as Learning Style, Training, Naturalness, Tidiness, Speed, Number of Retrieval, and Proficiency) have been extracted and elaborated on. However, due to the novelty of the area, the themes are mostly the outcome of researchers’ descriptions and interpretations than empirical studies. The inclusion criteria for the present review were studies that focus on the application of the Web as a corpus and Google as a concordance for language learning and L2 writing based on researchers’ and learners’ evaluation of it. Seven studies included in the present review show that learners’ use of GIPH and GIPD champions the promotion of their language learning and L2 writing, providing that proper training and scaffolding are provided. Future studies are also recommended based on the gaps and deficiencies identified in the reviewed researches.

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