Exploring Teacher Attitudes Regarding Corpus-Assisted Language Learning for Young Learners of English

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University of Alabama Libraries

Corpus-assisted language learning (CALL) has been established as a successful approach to language teaching and learning within the contexts of tertiary and secondary language learning classrooms (Boulton & Cobb, 2017). Despite its many successes, however, CALL approaches have remained underexplored within the context of young learners. This thesis aims to further the research of CALL with young learners of English through surveying pre-service teachers about their attitudes and expectations concerning CALL and young learner language education. By reviewing the literature surrounding the application of CALL in adult ESL/EFL, tertiary, and secondary contexts alongside the relatively few examples of CALL within primary or young learner contexts, this thesis highlights the need for more research into the application of CALL within young learner contexts. Breyer (2009) argues that focusing on the role of the teacher and their attitudes will be the key towards popularizing the use of CALL practices; therefore this project surveys pre-service language teachers to explore their attitudes surrounding CALL and young learners. By analyzing the pre-service teachers' responses using descriptive thematic analysis based in constructivist grounded theory methodology, this project allowed themes to emerge from the data, identifying positive, negative, and neutral attitudes held by the pre-service teachers. Significant findings include the tension between pre-service attitudes about CALL and the lack of implementation of CALL within their own language classrooms; the potential of pre-made corpus activities as templates for implementation and context-specific adaptation; and the value of focused instruction surrounding applications of CALL across all contexts within teacher education programs.

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corpus assisted langauge learning, corpus linguistics, English language teaching, language acquisition, teacher attitudes, young learner