Frequently Asked Questions

 

1.    What is a corpus? 

A corpus is a collection of texts in electronic form used for linguistic research. It aids users in finding words and collocations in context and determine their frequency in the corpus, their original text source and their parts of speech.

 

2.    What is the SEPP Corpus?

The SEPP Corpus is a collection of textbooks and supplementary texts from İstanbul Şehir University’s English Preparatory Program and Core Curriculum Program.

 

3.    How is a corpus different from a dictionary?

 A dictionary provides the definition (meaning) of a word and often and example sentence.  A corpus shows sentences from real texts in which the word is used.  With the SEPP corpus you can upload your own text to see the frequency of each word used in the text and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR level) of those words.

 

4.    Why did SEPP create its own corpus?

 The biggest purpose of SEPP Corpus is to help SEPP students both during their preparatory year and when they start their departments. We have realized that the readily available corpora on the internet are rather too loaded and complicated for students who have a limited knowledge of English. This is why we believed we should build a specifically tailored source for our own students to refer to.  We have also provided data allowing us to see the frequency of vocabulary words taught during SEPP compared to the core curriculum classes to see which words need to be omitted and which should be included in SEPP. 

 

5.    How does this benefit students?

 Our corpus provides the students with in-text examples from their own textbooks and enables them to compare and contrast words within SEPP texts.  While in SEPP students will also be exposed to a higher volume of relevant vocabulary words, which will appear in their core courses after SEPP. 

 

6.    How can teachers use the corpus?

Teachers can use the corpus to find real examples of sentences when coming up with vocabulary activities.  The corpus can be used in class or assigned as homework in conjunction with vocabulary activities.  For example, you may have students use the corpus to complete a gap-fill worksheet specifically targeting the words ‘make’ and ‘do’ so the students can better understand the difference and see the different instances when each are used.  Teachers can also upload texts to get an idea whether it is an appropriate level for their class based on the level of the words used in the text.  Moving forward we will work on developing vocabulary exercises incorporating the SEPP Corpus.

 

7.    How can students utilize the corpus?

The corpus will be more useful for students as they get into the upper levels and beyond.  They can use the corpus to upload texts to see how many words from each CEFR level are used in the uploaded text.  Students can check their own essays to see if they are using enough vocabulary from B1-C2 levels as they move into academic writing.

 

8.     How is a corpus different from a dictionary?

- A dictionary provides the definition (meaning) of a word and often an example sentence.

- A corpus shows sentences from real texts in which the word is used.  With the SEPP corpus you can upload your own text to see the frequency of each word used in the text and the level of those words.

 

9.    Can I upload my own texts?

Yes.  You can upload a text of your own to see the word frequency list.  You can also compare your text to various texts from the corpus to gage which level your text is.

 

10. Which texts are included in the corpus?

All books (as of July, 2013) from SEPP as well as the core curriculum courses students take during their first year after SEPP are provided.  The corpus will be updated each year so that only relevant course materials are on the SEPP Corpus. You can see the names of the textbooks used in the options screen of the SEPP Corpus.

 

11. What is the plural form of corpus?

 Corpora

  

12. Will I be able to find frequency of usage for words in the texts?

Yes. You can find out the frequency of usage of a word in a textbook, a level, all of Prep curriculum and both Prep and Core curricula. You can compare the frequency across books, levels and curricula, too.

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