About the Project

Language corpora began to inform the creation of textbooks and reference materials not long after the first electronic corpora became available in the 1960s.  The concept of Data-Driven Learning, the use of corpora in instructed second language acquisition, can be traced to the late 1980s.  Despite fifty years of use and a substantial body of literature showing their efficacy in the classroom, however, language corpora are far from a common pedagogical tool.  In fact, teachers attempting to move from theory to praxis will find very few pedagogical manuals or user-friendly corpus tutorials, especially for languages other than English.

Incorporating Corpora provides an online corpus-based workbook for teaching German to English-speaking learners.  It includes a brief introduction to Data-Driven Learning, a guide for using one specific suite of German corpora, and a selection of corpus-based assignments.  The first iteration of the workbook will be the basis for a series of K-16 teacher workshops to be held on the KU Lawrence Campus, at Johnson County Community College, and at Fort Hays State University; teachers participating in these workshops will explore the use of language corpora in language teaching and will be invited to submit their own activities for inclusion in the online workbook.

The corpus-based assignments provided here are conceived as supplementary materials that can be used both for learning new structures and for deepening knowledge of previously learned structures (i.e., for learners at different German proficiency levels). Each module progresses from independent awareness-raising and practice exercises with automated feedback to more open-ended production exercises that can be submitted to the teacher and followed by extension exercises in class.

We hope that this resource will help learners substantially improve their German knowledge by providing them with several I’s that have been shown to be beneficial for language learning (Carter & McCarthy, 1995; Laufer, 2017; Leow, 2018): rich Input (exposure to a plethora of real-life examples), guided Induction (induction of rules from data analysis), and active Involvement (independent work that requires cognitive engagement and deep processing of the material).  We welcome your feedback and suggestions as the resource is developed.


Carter, R., & McCarthy, M. (1995). Grammar and the spoken language. Applied Linguistics, 16(2), 141-158

Laufer, B. (2017). The three “I”s of second language vocabulary learning: Input, instruction, involvement. In E. Hinkel (Ed.), Handbook of research in second language teaching and learning (Vol. 3, pp. 343–354). London: Routledge.

Leow, R. P. (2018). ISLA: How implicit or how explicit should it be? Theoretical, empirical, and pedagogical/curricular issues. Language Teaching Research, 23(4), 476-493.

Project Team

The project is led by Dr. Nina Vyatkina, Professor of German (Applied Linguistics) and Chair of the Department of German Studies.  She holds a Ph.D. in German (Applied Linguistics Option) from the Pennsylvania State University.  Her research interests include Instructed Second Language Acquisition, corpus-based language learning and teaching, and learner corpus research.  Her articles on these topics have appeared in leading Applied Linguistics journals.  She serves on the Executive Board of the Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO) and the editorial boards of Language Learning & Technology and International Journal of Learner Corpus Research.  She is a co-recipient of the 2009 Paul Pimsleur Award for Research in Foreign Language Education from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and has a long history of collaboration with German scholars from the University of Tübingen and Humboldt-University in Berlin, where she spent the 2014 fall semester as a U.S. Fulbright scholar.

Dr, Vyatkina is assisted on this project by lecturers within her department, many of whom have already worked with early drafts of corpus assignments. Most notable among these is Schirin Kourehpaz, who has served as lead author on several modules.

Citing Incorporating Corpora

Suggested citation for website:

Vyatkina, N. (Ed.). (2020- ). Incorporating corpora: Using corpora to teach German to English-speaking learners [Online instructional materials]. Lawrence, KS: KU Open Language Resource Center. Retrieved from https://corpora.ku.edu

Suggested citation for an individual module:

Kourehpaz, S., & Vyatkina, N. (2020- ). Adjective endings 1. In N. Vyatkina (Ed.). Incorporating corpora: Using corpora to teach German to English-speaking learners [Online instructional materials]. Lawrence, KS: KU Open Language Resource Center. Retrieved from https://corpora.ku.edu/adjective-endings/adj1-2/