Variation in corpora and its pedagogical implications
In the opening of her interview, Susan Conrad, Professor of Applied Linguistics at Portland State University (United States), comments on the role of Corpus Linguistics in a country where language research has differed substantially from that of the European tradition. A major concern of hers, Conrad discusses the concept of variation in terms of language, dialect, knowledge areas and speakers, to cite just some examples. When considering the notion of registers, she holds that their study can be greatly enhanced by corpora and their probing tools. Conrad, however, does not restrict herself to research considerations: she also writes about the role of Corpus Linguistics, in a more general sense, to teaching – here understood as teaching not only languages but also civil engineering, as illustrated in her interview.