Edited by Robert Fuchs and Valentin Werner
[International Journal of Learner Corpus Research 4:2] 2018
► pp. 164–194
The progressive form and its functions in spoken learner English
Tracing the effects of an exposure-rich learning environment
Present-day English manifests ongoing changes in the frequency and semantic range of the progressive form, which presents a challenge for foreign language learners. This study examines the frequencies and semantic functions of the progressive in the Louvain International Database of Spoken English Interlanguage with the aim of finding out to what extent learners are adopting the ongoing changes. This study analyses the effects of an exposure-rich learning environment by comparing learners from countries where English is used in varying degrees outside formal educational contexts and by examining intra-corpus variation between learners who have vs. have not spent time in English-speaking countries. The results reveal that exposure to English in the home country explains some of the variation in the progressive frequencies, but most of all it shows in the extent to which the learners have adopted its new semantic uses. By contrast, stay in English-speaking countries was not found to be an influential variable for all learner groups.