Motivating College Students’ Learning English for Specific Purposes Courses through Corpus Building

Lin-Fang Wu


This study was conducted to determine how to motivate technical college students to learn English for specific purposes (ESP) courses through corpus building and enhance their language proficiency during the coursework for their majors. This study explores corpus building skills, how to simplify ESP courses by corpus building for English as second language learners, and ESP course evaluations. Although ESP programs have been implemented in technical colleges in Taiwan for several years, many students and educational practitioners feel frustrated regarding the academic achievement of learners’ ESP courses. Corpus building is crucial for implementing an ESP program and its subsequent success. Designing appropriate teaching materials enables learners to overcome their fears when taking ESP courses. Numerous linguistic professionals have mentioned that ESP courses are aimed at advanced learners. However, the vocabulary size of most technical college students is below 2000 words in Taiwan. Teaching an ESP course at a technical university is challenging work for ESP teachers. Constructing an ESP corpus and selecting appropriate ESP vocabulary to meet learner needs is essential. Building a localized corpus and designing appropriate ESP materials based on student language proficiency is the future trend for ESP courses. In this study, we discuss basic rules for developing linguistics corpora, how to build localized corpora, and the most commonly used tutorials for corpus building.

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English Language Teaching       ISSN 1916-4742 (Print)   ISSN  1916-4750 (Online)

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