Concordancers - Victoria`s TESOL Portfolio

This lesson is designed to introduce you to concordancers, so you won’t be shocked when you go into
much more detail in your TESOL 425 TESOL Vocabulary class. The best way to learn about concordancers
is through an internet search for them.
Search the internet for concordancers. Read articles about them and what they do.
What is a concordancer and why would a teacher want to use it.
Answer: A concordancer is a piece of software, either installed on a computer or accessed
through a website, which can be used to search, access and analyse language from a corpus.
They can be particularly useful in exploring the relationships between words and can give us
very accurate information about the way language is authentically used.
Exploring collocations. When you get students to learn new words you can ask them to enter
those words into the concordancer and see if they can find and record other words which are
commonly used with them.
Looking at their own errors. If your students commonly make collocation errors, instead of
correcting them yourself you can ask the student to put the root word into the concordancer and
see if they can discover what the error is for themselves.
Understanding different uses / meanings. When your students are learning words which have
multiple meanings, you can collect example sentences from a corpus and get the students to
group the sentences according to their meaning.
Finding genuine examples. Once you have taught your students some new words or phrases, you
can get them to use the concordancer to find and record their own examples of the words being
used. If you teach a specific use of a word or phrase you could get them to make sure the
example they find matches the use you have taught.
Materials creation. Teachers often produce gapfill activities that have a group of words they want
to teach or revise, and a number of sentences that the students must put the correct words into.
Using a concordancer and a simple word processing programme you can get authentic text with
which to create your own gapfill activities, or even get your students to create the materials
Search for various different online concordancers and use them. Show your results below.
What online concordancers did you find?
Names and Links: Online Concordancers Textworld. WordSmith Tools Athelstan Online
What words did you search for? What corpus did you use? Show your results.
Word: silly
Corpus: brown
Results (10 lines):
at her. I felt my frozen sad face crumble, and I grinned a SILLY one I coul
dn't have helped. I even snorted a chuckle.
, chattering magpies, thieving jackdaws, a proud peacock, a SILLY goose, and
a harpy eagle- whom I was silly enough to m
gined. It all takes place in the eighteenth century. What a SILLY, artificia
l way of life, Chabrier and his librettists
nment is destroying its own taxpayers, which is obviously a SILLY thing for
any government to do. Hanging the responsibl
ot us an old station wagon. Need it for the job". I asked a SILLY question:
"You've no idea where your husband could be,
o frighten her. Besides, there was something hysterical and SILLY, something
almost childish about an attempt to frighte
n they do if they find them"? "They can't do anything. It's SILLY, childish,
running after them like that. I told Ben so
n attempt to frighten her. Maude was neither hysterical nor SILLY and Sarah
rather doubted if she had ever been childish
questions. Fortunately it spared us from the usual spate of SILLY resolution
s which in the past have made Georgia look l
ny's aversion to having Dr. Dunne, a former admirer, seemed SILLY to him, bu
t he would humor her, get anybody she wanted
Word: love
Corpus: brown
Results (10 lines):
d to her, while they are far more restrained than those of " LOVE in Dian's L
ap", show no great technical advance over th
here in the darkness, begging this man to make love to me. " LOVE me, Johnni
e". "I will, kitten"! Outside, in the summert
tting that we seek out whatever joy our union might bring. " LOVE me"? "Uhhuh. Love you". "Always and always, Johnnie"?
y which Divine Love becomes the most "fatal" allurement in " LOVE the Tempte
r". Of course, there were books about which n
. ## As for me, I am holding in reserve two huge puzzles (I LOVE puzzles) to
put together when time hangs heavy on my ha
Hamrick. His recent experience in motor car advertising, a LOVE for cars of
themselves, the existence of A- Z's useless
was intimate, thoughtful, and a trifle shy. His new poem, a LOVE poem, told
of a young husband leading his wife upstairs
chnique by which a poet indulged in all kinds of talk about LOVE and anger a
nd even in something like "expressions" of t
answer to that is, I am a suffering FrancoIrishman. We all LOVE to suffer, but some of us love to suffer more than othe
e motel, a thousand crickets serenaded us. "Will you always LOVE me this way
"? "Uh huh. Always". "Mmm". And I snuggled c
Word: quality
Corpus: brown
Results (10 lines):
brutal necessities of war. It is this larger theme of the " QUALITY of man",
a quality that transcends the ideological a
alraux's pages have we met such impassioned defenders of a " QUALITY of man"
which transcends the realm of politics and e
of war. It is this larger theme of the "quality of man", a QUALITY that tra
nscends the ideological and flows into "the
ER ASK BEFORE JOINING# AMERICANS are a nation of joiners, a QUALITY which ou
r friends find endearing and sometimes amusi
es in his vocal toneto his voice's suddenly shifting to a QUALITY not like his usual one, a qual
ity which sounds someh
ic felt assured by its sense of recognition after a time, a QUALITY of authe
ntic uniqueness about them, which, once esta
low-cost means for the largescale production of water of a QUALITY suitable for municipal, industrial, ag
ricultural, an
neither was the statement empirical, for goodness was not a QUALITY like red
or squeaky that could be seen or heard. Wha
s pale face In the Manu tongue, "eromonga" means manhooda QUALITY which the women derisively toasted in weekly feasts
's suddenly shifting to a quality not like his usual one, a QUALITY which so
unds somehow artificial or, in some instance
Collocations are words that are grouped together or normally used together. For example, if you looked
up the word interested you would notice that it is often followed by the word in.
Look at your results from the words you selected above. Can you notice any collocations? In other
words, is the word you chose often preceded or followed by a specific word?
Your Collocation Findings:
Quality of
All these concordancers are cool, but why not just use Google to search for your word and use the web
as your corpus?
Use Google to search for one of your words you ran through a concordancer. What did you find out?
▪ affect, assess, enhance, improve, maintain, monitor
MonoConc is a piece of concordancer software that at one time was downloadable for free if it was
used for research. I’ve included it as part of your materials. Try it out. When the program opens you
won’t see much of anything. You’ll need to go under file and load a corpus (any .txt file will do). Once
you have a corpus, then you can do searches to see how the word is used within that corpus.
The nice thing about MonoConc is that you can load your own corpus. You just need to save your corpus
as a .txt (text) file before you can load it.
MonoConc Link (It may only work from your flash drive for some reason. I can’t get it to work from my
hard drive.)
Finishing Touches
 Blog after every class about what you are learning.
 Add a background color to this document, but make sure it is still easy to read.
 Name this document “Concordancer” and save it as a Word Document of PDF in your portfolio
 Link the file to your Home Page.