CLaC Members

Sian Alsop

Siân uses corpus linguistic approaches to investigate issues of equity and attainment in various educational contexts. She likes working with large spoken and written corpora and has a growing interest in data visualisation and writing analytics techniques. She is currently working on two projects that investigate attainment disparities between students from different backgrounds: 1. developing a large corpus of written feedback with Sheena Gardner and Cathy Malone (Sheffield Hallam University), and 2. mapping curricula characteristics onto student outcomes with colleagues from Oxford Brookes University. She is also continuing work on expanding the Engineering Lecture Corpus (ELC). Siân has previously worked with Hilary Nesi and Sheena Gardner on the British Academic Written English (BAWE) corpus.

Yuhua Chen

Yu-Hua has been working at the intersection of Corpus Linguistics, Language Testing and Assessment and SLA for the past few years. She is particularly interested in how corpora can be used to facilitate or validate the approaches to teaching or assessing language skills. She is also keen on putting academic research into practice. In the context of language education, this means, for example, students can benefit from more effective learning and assessment on the basis of research-informed syllabuses, textbooks, assessment tasks etc. She was Principal Investigator for CAWSE (UNNC Corpus of Academic Written and Spoken English). Funded by the Chinese government and University of Nottingham Ningbo China (2016-2019), this project provides valuable resources from a large collection of L1 Chinese students’ L2 English samples and can be accessed here. Because of the large amounts of spoken data involved in this project, she then designed and created an online transcription and annotation tool Transcribear with Radovan Bruncak (2019), and the tool has been used by a number of institutions including Oxford University press. When working for the language testing division in Pearson previously, Yu-Hua also co-developed Academic Collocation List (ACL) with Kirsten Ackermann (2013). The development processes of the above resources, ACL or Transcribear, are published in peer-review journals and available on ResearchGate.

CAWSE & Transcribear

Patrick Corness

Patrick contributes to Jim Clarke and Benet Vincent’s Clockwork Orange translation corpus project. Having created the relevant parallel corpora, he is presently investigating Polish and Slovak versions of Anthony Burgess’s novel and has presented the first results of the Polish project at a conference at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań and published the paper, A Clockwork Orange in Polish: Robert Stiller’s Dystopias, in Volume 2 of the Proceedings: Słowiańska Wieża Babel, tom 2 Język i tożsamość [Language and Identity]. Poznań, Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM (Adam Mickiewicz University Press), 215-225. For the Slovak investigation, the parallel corpus has been established with alignment at paragraph level and at unit-of-translation (generally sentence) level. The creation of a parallel concordance of Nadsat lexis as a resource for analysis of its treatment in the Slovak translation is presently in progress, based on this corpus. At the invitation of a specialist academic publisher, Patrick has prepared and submitted a draft scholarly edition of the classic Ukrainian drama The Song of the Forest by Lesya Ukrainka (1871-1913). It includes a new annotated translation (presented in parallel with the original Ukrainian text) and a concordance of key features of the original work and their treatment in five earlier English translations. The concordance was extracted from a parallel corpus created to facilitate corpus-based comparative analysis of the five respective translations. In connection with this work, a mobility grant was received under the British Council Ukraine Culture Bridges programme to facilitate a conference presentation and study visit to Ukraine in 2018. Other relevant activities include long-standing association with the Institute of the Czech National Corpus in Prague and Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania, involving joint research, corpus building and publishing of Czech/English and Czech/Lithuanian comparative lexicographical studies.

Niall Curry

Niall Curry is a Lecturer in Academic Writing at the Centre for Academic Writing at Coventry University. His research is interdisciplinary and centres on the application of corpus linguistic approaches to different areas of applied linguistics. Among these areas is a focus on corpus-based studies of academic writing and metadiscourse in English, French, and Spanish, corpus-based contrastive linguistics, corpus-based studies of English language and language change, and corpus linguistics for TESOL and language teaching materials development. For further details on his background, areas of interest, projects, and current research, see his Coventry University profile or his website.

Sheena Gardner

Sheena Gardner is Professor of Applied Linguistics at Coventry University. Her research integrates functional, ethnographic, corpus and genre-based approaches to investigate the nature and use of academic English in educational contexts. She enjoys supervising PhD students and working with visiting scholars in areas, such as second language writing and English for Academic Purposes, that are related to the English registers and genres encountered and used in Higher Education by home and international students. She is co-author of Genres across the Disciplines: Student writing in higher education with Hilary Nesi (Cambridge, 2012), and co-editor of Multilingualism, Discourse and Ethnography with Marilyn Martin-Jones (Routledge, 2012) and Systemic Functional Linguistics in the Digital Age with Siân Alsop (Equinox, 2016).

Aysar Ghassan

Aysar Ghassan is the course director of the MA in Automotive & Transport Design at Coventry University. His PhD investigated the discourse of Design Thinking, a problem-solving tool which is key in design research and practice as well as in a range of broader areas including international policy. Use of corpus linguistics and content analysis were fundamental in enabling Aysar to complete this research. Aysar is interested in undertaking discourse analyses of broader ways of speaking in art and design research, practice and pedagogy.

James Henry

James is currently studying for his PhD at The University of Birmingham. His research focuses on academic writing for Business, and how writing in the EAP context compares to disciplinary discourse. He is interested in how corpus linguistics can be used to inform other areas of applied linguistics and discourse analysis; such as genre analysis or systemic functional linguistics. James has presented at national conferences on these themes.

Lee McCallum

Lee’s research interests focus on how corpus linguistics can be used in a number of areas relating to language and writing assessment. She has contributed to and led the creation of writing corpora in several contexts including the USA and the Middle East.  Her most recent publications have included co-authorship of Understanding development and proficiency in writing: Quantitative corpus linguistics approaches (Cambridge University Press, 2020) and contributions to understanding relationships between vocabulary sophistication and writing quality For more details of her background, interests and recent projects, see her website:

Hilary Nesi

Hilary is Professor in English Language at Coventry University. Her research activities mostly concern corpus development and analysis, the discourse of English for academic purposes, and the design and use of dictionaries and reference tools for academic contexts. She was principal investigator for the projects to create the BASE corpus of British Academic Spoken English the BAWE corpus of British Academic Written English, and the Writing for a Purpose project to produce academic writing materials for the British Council ‘Learn English’ website. She is the co-author of Genres across the Disciplines: Student writing in higher education (Cambridge University Press, 2012) and she is leading the development of the Coventry / Macmillan Dictionaries FutureLearn MOOC “All you ever wanted to know about dictionaries but were afraid to ask”.

Simon Smith

Simon's research focuses on the use of corpora, especially data-driven learning (DDL), in the teaching of Chinese and academic English. His current project, which he will be working on at the Centre for Global Learning: Education and Attainment (GLEA) and is the subject of a planned EPSRC bid, involves the porting of Chinese to an online language instruction platform, SkELL (Sketch Engine for Language Learning). A substantial part of this task will be to develop an adaptive segmenter for Chinese, which will allow Chinese text to be tokenized (divided up into words) in a way that it’s thought will benefit learners more than currently available tools.

Benet Vincent

Benet’s research interests relate to applications of corpus linguistics in a number of areas, including the investigation of modality and evaluative language. Another area of interest is the application of corpora in language teaching and learning and DDL – see the BAWE Quicklinks project. He is also involved in the Clockwork Orange translation corpus project with Jim Clarke and Patrick Corness (Coventry University) and collaborators from the University of Birmingham and Heriot Watt University.