Teachers’ perceptions of incorporation of corpus-based approach in English language teaching classrooms in Karachi, Pakistan


  • Javeria Jamal Department of Humanities, NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, Pakistan.
  • Asmara Shafqat Department of Humanities, NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, Pakistan. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5928-5915
  • Ehtsham Afzal Department of Applied Linguistics, Awang Had Salleh Graduate School of Arts and Science, Kedah, University of Utara, Malaysia.




English language teaching, linguistic corpus, corpus linguistics, corpus-based approach, corpus-based methodology, corpus-based materials, teachers’ perceptions


The objective of the study is to understand language teachers’ perceptions regarding incorporating a corpus-based approach, i.e., corpus-based teaching methodology in English Language Teaching (ELT) classroom contexts. The design of the study is qualitative. The sample is taken from 19 English language teachers who are currently enrolled as students of Master of Applied Linguistics at NED University, Karachi, Pakistan. The instrument of the study is an open-ended questionnaire and also a focus groups based on semi-structured interviews. A thematic analysis of the interviews is conducted, as a result of which different themes emerged that conform to the benefits of incorporating corpus-based materials and activities in ELT classrooms. The findings show that use of a corpus-based teaching methodology in ELT classrooms is accepted as a new strategy for teaching different aspects and skills of English language such as vocabulary, grammar, reading, and writing. The pedagogical implications are found to be significant for curriculum designers, ELT teachers, and administrators at educational institutes where they want to enhance their students' interest and motivation levels. Material designers, corpus-based tools researchers, and teachers are suggested to collaborate for designing effective corpus-based materials for teaching as it increases the reliability of the teaching material.


Metrics Loading ...


Afzal, M., Hu, K., Chishti, M.I., Khan, Z., & Feng, G. (2019). Examining Pakistani news media discourses about China–Pakistan Economic Corridor: A corpus-based critical discourse analysis. Cogent Social Sciences, 5(1). 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1080/23311886.2019.1683940 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/23311886.2019.1683940

Almutairi, N. (2016). The effectiveness of corpus- based approach to language description in creating corpus-based exercises to teach writing personal statements. English Language Teaching, 9(7). 103-111. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1101749 DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/elt.v9n7p103

Anthony, L. (2017). Corpus linguistics and vocabulary: A commentary on four studies. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 6(2), 79-87 https://www.laurenceanthony.net/research/20171200_vli_article/VLI_6_2_anthony.pdf DOI: https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v06.2.Anthony

Ashkan, L., & Seyyedrezaei, S.H. (2016). The effect of corpus-based language teaching on Iranian EFL learners’ vocabulary learning and retention. International Journal of English Linguistics, 6(4).190-196. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/c0b8/76c33ecd602b88f3092ee974e16a98db7ee4.pdf DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/ijel.v6n4p190

Aston, G. (ed.) (2001). Learning with corpora. Athelstan.

Bennet, G. R. (2010). Part I: An introduction to corpus linguistics. University of Michigan. https://www.press.umich.edu/pdf/9780472033850-part1.pdf

Biber, D., Conrad, S., & Reppen, R. (1998). Corpus linguistics - investigating language structure and use. Cambridge University. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511804489

Binkai, J. (2012). An empirical study on corpus-driven English vocabulary learning in China. English Language Teaching, 5(4). 131-137. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1079027 DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/elt.v5n4p131

Boldarine, A.C., & Rosa, R.G. (2019). Prepping a prep course: A corpus linguistics approach. BELT- Brazilian English Language Teaching Journal, 9(2). 397-394. https://revistaseletronicas.pucrs.br/index.php/belt/article/view/31799 DOI: https://doi.org/10.15448/2178-3640.2018.2.31799

Boulton, A. (2009). Data-driven learning: Reasonable fears and rational reassurance. Indian Journal of Applied Linguistics 35(1), 81-106. https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00326990/

Bunting, J. (2013). An investigation of language teachers’ explorations of the use of corpus tools in the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) class. https://scholarworks.gsu.edu/alesl_diss/26

Burns, A., & Richards, J. (2009). Second language teacher education. In A. Burns & J. Richards (Eds.), Cambridge guide to second language teacher education. Cambridge University.

Caliskan, G., & Gonen, S.?. (2018). Training teachers on corpus-based language pedagogy: Perceptions on using concordance lines in vocabulary instruction. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, 14(4), 190-210. https://dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/jlls/issue/43366/528108

Carter, R., & McCarthy, M. (2015). Spoken grammar: Where are we and where are we going? Applied Linguistics, 38(1).1-20. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amu080 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amu080

Chao, P. (2010). A study of collocation learning of junior high students in Taiwan via concordance. Paper presented at the 2010 international conference on English teaching, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. 129-154 https://www.academia.edu/download/8652879/2010comp_epca.pdf#page=139

Conrad, S. (2008). Corpus-based research is too complicated to be helpful in writing teachers. In J. Reid (Ed.), Writing myths: Applying second language research to classroom teaching. University of Michigan.

Donesch-Jezo, E. (2013). Using language corpus in teaching foreign language vocabulary. International Multidisciplinary e-Journal, 2(1), 11-25.

Durrani, H. (2016). Attitudes of undergraduates towards grammar translation method and communicative language teaching in EFL context: A case study of SBK women's university Quetta, Pakistan. Advances in Language and Literary Studies, 7(4), 167-172. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1127286 DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.alls.v.7n.4p.167

Farooq, M. S., Uzair-Ul-Hassan, M. & Wahid, S. (2012). Opinion of second language learners about writing difficulties in English language. A Research Journal of South Asian Studies, 27(1), 183-194. http://journals.pu.edu.pk/journals/index.php/IJSAS/article/view/2847

Frankenberg-Garcia, A. (2014). How language learners can benefit from corpora, or not. Recherches en didactique des langues et des cultures. 11(1), 1-15. https://doi.org/10.4000/rdlc.1702 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4000/rdlc.1702

Friginal, E. (2018). Corpus linguistics for English teachers: tools, online resources, and classroom activities. Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315649054

Flowerdew, L. (2009). Applying corpus linguistics to pedagogy: A critical evaluation. International journal of corpus linguistics, 14(3), 393-417. https://doi.org/10.1075/ijcl.14.3.05flo DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/ijcl.14.3.05flo

Gilquin, G., & S. Granger (2010). How can DDL be used in language teaching? In A. O’Keeffe & M. McCarthy (eds.), The Routledge handbook of corpus linguistics. Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203856949-26

Gopang, I. B., Ansari, S., Kulsoom, U., & Laghari, A. (2017). An empirical investigation of foreign language anxiety in Pakistani university. International Journal of English Linguistics, 7(2). 21-31. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/ijel.v7n2p21

Haider, G. (2012). Teaching of writing in Pakistan: A review of major pedagogical trends and issues in teaching of writing. Journal of Educational and Social Research, 2(3), 215-215.

Heather, J., & Helt, M. (2011). Pre-service teachers' attitudes towards corpus use in [grammar] teaching. Paper presented at the American Association of Corpus Linguistics, Atlanta, GA.

Heremans, K., & Cuyckens, H. (2012). DIACHRONEX: Corpus-based exercises for English diachronic linguistics. ICAME Journal, 36, 67-93. http://korpus.uib.no/icame/ij36/Pages_67-94.pdf

Huang, Z. (2014). The effects of paper-based DDL on the acquisition of lexico-grammatical patterns in L2 writing. ReCALL, 26(2), 163-183. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/recall/article/abs/effects-of-paperbased-ddl-on-the-acquisition-of-lexicogrammatical-patterns-in-l2-writing/F70DB438DA5EAB9F733103F7A1F3A47E DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0958344014000020

Hunston, S. (1995). Grammar in teacher education: The role of a corpus. Language Awareness, 4(1), 15-31. https://doi.org/10.1080/09658416.1995.9959864 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09658416.1995.9959864

Imran, M., Asgher, T., & Ghani, M. (2016). A study on science students’ understanding of three lemmas: State verb, action verb and noun in the state-run colleges in Pakistan. International Journal of English Linguistics, 6(5), 121-129. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/d3c0/926b88165c6288b4c93e549c1b276e0cec34.pdf DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/ijel.v6n5p121

Jalilifar, A., Mehrabi, K., & Mousavinia, S. R. (2014). The effect of concordance enriched instruction on the vocabulary learning and retention of Iranian EFL learners. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 98, 742-746. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.03.476 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.03.476

Mahmood, M. A. (2009). A corpus-based analysis of Pakistani English. Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan.

Mukherjee, J. (2004). Bridging the gap between applied corpus linguistics and the reality of English language teaching in Germany. In U. Connor & T. Upton (Eds.), Applied corpus linguistics: A multidimensional perspective. Rodopi.

Mushtaq, M., Saleem, T., Afzal, S., & Saleem, A. (2021). A corpus-based ideational meta-functional analysis of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech at United Nations general assembly. Cogent Social Sciences, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.1080/23311886.2020.1856999 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/23311886.2020.1856999

Newman, J. (2008). Spoken corpora: Rationale and application. Taiwan Journal of Linguistics, 6(2), 27-58.

O'Keeffe, A., McCarthy, M., & Carter, R. (2007). From corpus to classroom: Language use and language teaching. Cambridge University. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511497650

Özbay, A., & Kayaoglu, M. N. (2015). EFL teacher’s reflections towards the use of computerized corpora as a teaching tool in their classrooms. Cukurova University Faculty of Education Journal, 44(1). 85-104. https://dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/cuefd/article/54367 DOI: https://doi.org/10.14812/cuefd.54367

Reppen, R. (2011). Using corpora in the language classroom. In B.Tomlinson (Ed.), Materials Development in Language Teaching (second edn.). Cambridge University.

Reppen, R. (2010). Using Corpora in the Language Classroom. Cambridge University.

Rezaee, A. A., Marefat, H., & Saeedakhtar, A. (2015). Symmetrical and asymmetrical scaffolding of L2 collocations in the context of concordancing. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 28(6), 532-549. https://doi.org/10.1080/09588221.2014.889712 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09588221.2014.889712

Römer, U. (2006). Pedagogical applications of corpora: Some reflections on the current scope and a wish list for future developments. Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, 54(2), 121-134. https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/zaa-2006-0204/html DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/zaa-2006-0204

Romer, Ute (2005). Progressives, Patterns, Pedagogy: A corpus-driven approach to English progressive forms, functions, contexts and didactics. John Benjamins DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/scl.18

Sinclair J. (ed.) (2004). How to use corpora in language teaching. John Benjamins. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/scl.12

Smart, J. (2014). The role of guided induction in paper-based data-driven learning. ReCALL, 26(2), 184-201. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/recall/article/abs/role-of-guided-induction-in-paperbased-datadriven-learning/729C745E3D31FBB5067497A583366CE0 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0958344014000081

Stefanowitsch, A. (2020). Corpus linguistics: A guide to the methodology. Language Science.

Timmis, I. (2015). Corpus linguistics for ELT: Research and Practice. Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315715537

Tono, Y., Satake, Y., & Miura, A. (2014). The effects of using corpora on revision tasks in L2 writing with coded error feedback. ReCALL, 26(2), 147-162. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/recall/article/abs/effects-of-using-corpora-on-revision-tasks-in-l2-writing-with-coded-error-feedback/3498F1000F12F48E24728B48AEABC1D4 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S095834401400007X

Woods, D. (1996). Teacher cognition in language teaching: Beliefs, decision-making and classroom practice. Cambridge University.

Yang, B. (2016). A corpus-based comparative study of" Learn" and" Acquire". English Language Teaching, 9(1), 209-220. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1087079 DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/elt.v9n1p209

Yoon, H., & Hirvela, A. (2004). ESL student attitudes toward corpus use in L2 writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 13(4), 257-283. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jslw.2004.06.002 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jslw.2004.06.002

Yunus, K. (2017). Corpus Linguistics: Pedagogic application in the 21st century. International Journal of Academic Research in Progressive Education and Development, 6(3), 137-152. http://dx.doi.org/10.6007/IJARPED/v6-i3/3167 DOI: https://doi.org/10.6007/IJARPED/v6-i3/3167

Yusuf, K. (2020). Data driven learning by discovering lexical bundles using corpus resources. In International Conference on English Language Teaching (ICONELT 2019), 47-50. Atlantis Press. file:///E:/IDEA%20JOURNAL/125939256.pdf DOI: https://doi.org/10.2991/assehr.k.200427.011

Zahra, T., & Abbas, A. (2018). Pedagogical implications of corpus-based approaches to ELT in Pakistan. Journal of Education and Educational Development, 5(2), 259-275. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1200277 DOI: https://doi.org/10.22555/joeed.v5i2.1565



How to Cite

Jamal, J. ., Shafqat, A., & Afzal, E. (2021). Teachers’ perceptions of incorporation of corpus-based approach in English language teaching classrooms in Karachi, Pakistan. Liberal Arts and Social Sciences International Journal (LASSIJ), 5(1), 611–629. https://doi.org/10.47264/idea.lassij/5.1.40



Research Articles | Original Articles | Original Research