Like That? The Problem With Coursebook Vocabulary

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Jason Peppard, Yamagata University

Reference Data:

Peppard, J. (2016). Like that? The problem with coursebook vocabulary. In P. Clements, A. Krause, & H. Brown (Eds.), Focus on the learner. Tokyo: JALT.

The importance of learning multiword lexical phrases for the development of fluent language capabilities is now widely acknowledged, largely due to advances in corpus linguistics. It has been noted, however, that this research is often not adequately understood and applied in pedagogical contexts. Many coursebooks, for example, still include high-frequency words without reference to the highly frequent patterns and phrases they are found in; the lexical phrases and single items that are included are often selected subjectively and without reference to corpus data. The present study illustrates this problem and how it can be remedied using examples from the researcher’s own teaching context. Also included is a corpus-based, comparative analysis of the highly frequent word like, in which findings from a corpus of ELT coursebooks were evaluated against a corresponding phraseological analysis using the Corpus of Contemporary American English.