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Exploring Corpus Use in Second Language Vocabulary Learning: Toward the Establishment of a Data-Driven Learning Model


This dissertation aims to understand and further explore the effects of corpus use on second language (L2) vocabulary learning in classroom contexts using new methodologies and theoretical perspectives. Corpora (the singular is corpus), which are rich collections of authentic language data, have been widely used for language learning purposes because they provide an ample size of authentic L2 exposures to learners, usually hard to attain in real life. Along with the development of the concordance program, which displays multiple example contexts of selected target vocabulary items in a visually salient way, researchers in the field of L2 studies have demonstrated a continuous empirical effort to prove the positive effect of corpus use. However, given the short history of corpus linguistics, little is known about the overall effect of corpus use across different learning contexts. To address the paucity, I conducted four studies as following. In Chapter 1, I systemically reviewed the overall effect of corpus use on L2 vocabulary learning using a multilevel meta-analysis approach. In Chapter 2, by conducting an experiment I examined the effect of the confirmation process for corpus use as glossary information using a linear regression analysis. In Chapter 3, I re-analyzed the data collected to unearth hidden groups of learners based on their vocabulary learning across different learning conditions using a data mining approach. In Chapter 4, I conducted another experiment to investigate the role of learner factors in corpus-based L2 vocabulary learning by using a mixed-method approach and examined if the collected data fit the hypothesized model of Data-Driven Learning (DDL; Johns, 1991). I expect that my dissertation will lead to a deeper understanding of corpus use in L2 vocabulary learning. Considering that the use of technology in an L2 classroom has become a norm, the findings of the dissertation provide researchers and teachers with a few guidelines they should consider when they adopt technologies in L2 vocabulary learning contexts.

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