Corpus-based language teaching: An African language perspective

  • Elsabé Taljard


Abstract: Studies on corpus-based language teaching are notably absent within the South African educational context; more so with regard to the teaching of African languages. This article explores the possibilities offered by the availability of an electronic corpus to enhance language teaching, and more specifically, the teaching of Northern Sotho as a second additional language at first year university level to first-time learners of the language. Particular attention is paid to corpus-based selection and sequencing of learning material, an activity that has hitherto depended on anecdotal evidence and the intuition of the language teacher. A critical evaluation of existing pedagogical material for Northern Sotho reveals that although excellent sources of reference, these works are inadequate for the purpose of teaching Northern Sotho to first-time learners. It is indicated that information gleaned from a corpus provides the language teacher with guidance on both micro and macro level with regard to selection and sequencing of learning content.

Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 2012, 30(3): 377–393

Author Biography

Elsabé Taljard
Department of African Languages, University of Pretoria, 0002

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-9461
print ISSN: 1607-3614