Using corpora to enhance learners' academic writing skills in French
2010, Vol. XV-2, pp. 21-35
Reporting the work of others and appropriate reference to other texts is essential for academic writers. Acceptance into the academic discourse community is subject to mastery of citation techniques, yet students continue to struggle with such practices throughout their tertiary education, particularly non-native speakers of a language. Learners are often unaware of the mechanisms available to them for reporting, for instance, the relationship between reporting verbs and evaluation and, therefore, fail to locate their position in relation to the work of the cited author. This paper explores the use of academic text corpora in French as a means of enhancing language learners' academic writing skills, most notably as a means of enhancing their citation practices in French. It is argued that equipping L2 writers with such skills allows them to express an appropriate stance and put forth more convincing arguments. The conclusion suggests that corpus consultation literacy has an important role to play in the development of learners' written production and that academic text corpora are a valuable resource for access to the specialised language and textual organisation of academic discourse communities.