Applied Corpus Linguistics and the learning experience
The interview with Guy Aston, Professor of English Language and Translation at the University of Bologna (Italy), which opens the present volume, introduces us to an applied perspective of Corpus Linguistics. Differently from the other contributors, he emphasizes the role of teaching and learning as an integral part in doing corpus studies. One might consider this to be commonsensical given that two of his specific questions deal precisely with such topics (namely, learner corpora and student autonomy). Aston’s concern for learners, however, pervades his interview, as, for instance, when he highlights the role of the language classroom in the development of Corpus Linguistics, in the concept of representativeness, in the advantages and disadvantages of the corpus approach, and in encoding corpora with extra information. All in all, Aston’s statements encourage us to consider the impact of Corpus Linguistics beyond the research paradigm. His interview leads us to reflect on the potentials of corpora to our (language) classrooms and how our research may inform our own teaching practice.