The BAT MAT Corpus: EFL Academic Writing

Signe-Anita Lindgrén
Åbo Akademi University / English Language and Literature
signe-anita.lindgren _arvaa_ abo.fi

The BAT MAT Corpus is a new addition to advanced EFL learner corpora. The compilation of the corpus was initiated within the Advances in Applied Linguistics AAL project at the English Department, Åbo Akademi University, in the fall of 2012. Currently the corpus comprises 90 BA theses and MA theses all written by L1 Finland-Swedish speakers of the English Department together with background information on the writers. All writers have agreed in writing to have their theses included in the corpus.

The paper presents the BAT MAT corpus and the background questionnaire distributed to the writers, and a selection of other, comparable corpora. In addition, first results from first studies using the BAT MAT corpus exploring the complexity of the texts as measured with readability scores (Flesh) as well as the use of shell nouns will be shared. The analyses contrast BA and MA texts and linguistic oriented vs. literature oriented texts. The findings are expected to feed into improved linguistic awareness among the thesis writers and to improved texts through focused supervision. In light of previous studies and the current results, the paper discusses the thesis writer of tomorrow.

 

Keywords: EFL academic texts, learner corpora, readability, shell nouns

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