Learner Autonomy and Concordancers
Learner autonomy, referring to ‘the ability to take charge of one's own learning' (Holec,1981), puts an extra burden on teachers to foster learner autonomy and trace whether the students are autonomous enough to manage to govern their own learning process. At this standpoint, web concordancers might be of value in different educational domains. In dealing with written discourse, the extent to which the students may copy the words and phrases from the texts in writing is always the concern of language teachers. To serve this end, this study explores the frequency of the verbatim expressions in students essays as compared to an authentic prompt given before writing. The verbatim expressions in the prompt and the essays were compared with a concondancer on the web. It is seen that web concordancers may be used to trace verbatim utterances in writing courses in English as a Foreign Language (EFL). The use of such utterances in writing indicates text loyalty that may be connected with learner autonomy problems in addition to low linguistic proficiency and inadequate vocabulary stock of the learners. Learners might be guided to use reworded, synonymous, redressed expressions instead. The use of a concordancer can help both learners and language teachers to provide control over writing.
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