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Supporting the L in CLIL with a corpus

Christopher Cooper
Rikkyo University, Tokyo, Japan


The use of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) as an approach in Japanese universities has increased in the last decade (Tsuchiya, 2019). In the context of the current study, all elective 2nd to 4th year courses are currently being redesigned as CLIL or English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI) courses. One of those courses, entitled Reading for Pleasure, involves students doing extensive reading and learning how to speak and write about books. Courses in this context are designed on a spectrum. At one end of the spectrum, non-CLIL mandatory 1st year courses predominantly have a language focus, and EMI courses at the other end have a content focus (Yamamoto & Nitta, 2019). The Reading for Pleasure Course is towards the language end of the CLIL part of this spectrum. Therefore, the language support provided to course participants is a primary consideration.

In this presentation, the process of creating language support materials from a corpus of online book reviews from the website Goodreads will be described. The online corpus tool Sketch Engine was used to create the materials from a keyword list of single-words (e.g. protagonist, paranormal) and multi-word terms (e.g. love interest, omniscient narrator). These vocabulary items were qualitatively evaluated by the researcher and sorted into categories matching the weekly topics from the course, such as plot, genre, characters, and point of view. Glossaries were made to support students when completing tasks and the language extracted from the keyword list also informed task design. In addition to an explanation of the keyword extraction process, example materials and tasks will be shared in the presentation, along with reflections on their use in the classroom.


CLIL, corpus linguistics, extensive reading, keywords, language support materials

International Joint Conference of APLX, ETRA40, and TESPA 2023