Saturday, July 24, 2004


Concordance based gap fills

Blogs are very good for getting your thoughts up for a class to see quickly. It's better than using chalkboard because later you can copy your notes elsewhere on your computer.

Today SATURDAY I'd like to look at Concordancing as tutorial feedback. I have a page on Text Analysis (cached at Google)

The concordance program:

- set Search String equal to / starts with / ends with / or contains
- Select corpus
- Sort on the words either to the left or to the right

Is to create a gap fill excercise where sets of blanks must be filled in by the students. I have an article describing this technique here:

(1) First we need a short list of problem vocabulary; for example
in time
on time
fill in
fill out

(2) Run concordances on the words in question

FIRST - select an appropriate corpus

When working with concordances as with any computer-based activity you plan to use with students, it is important to preview the activity first. I have done this and determined that the corpus from The Times newspaper TimesFeb95 has good examples of the items I am looking for.

SECOND - sort left or right as needed

If comparing IN TIME with ON TIME sort left.
If comparing FILL IN with FILL OUT sort right.

THIRD - decide whether to set Search String equal to / starts with / ends with / or contains

For IN TIME and ON TIME set Search String equal to
For FILL IN and FILL OUT set Search String to starts with
This way you include FILLS, FILLING etc.

(3) Select 3 or 4 descriptive contexts for each gap

(4) Create your exercise

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