With increasing demands for the use of authentic language in the teaching of a second language, the potential role of corpora has been an important issue of discussion in the last two decades. Corpora have helped to reveal patterns of real language use and uncovered discrepancies between the language portrayed in textbooks and the language used in real life.
This article focuses on corpus-driven as well as corpus-based grammar teaching, summarising the experience of applying ACORN (the Aston Corpus Network) in the teaching of Spanish Grammar to students in the School of Languages and Social Sciences at Aston University. Our main goals were to show the students a large number of examples taken from authentic language texts, in order to support the grammar explained in class, and to provide them with a very useful resource that they can use while writing essays, preparing for exams, etc.
Students usually learn very quickly to deal with pragmatic and cultural translation problems, but very frequently lapse into repeating linguistic translation errors. A considerable amount of these errors are related to the use of collocations. This paper focuses on how to solve translation problems related to collocations by using corpus search techniques. Firstly, it gives an insight into the achievements obtained by using corpus linguistics methods in the teaching of a foreign language and in the training of translators. Secondly, different definitions of collocations will be presented and the strengths and limitations of different methods for the extraction of collocations from corpora will be commented. To round off this article, different parallel and comparable corpora will be presented and some corpus-based and corpus-driven exercises with comparable and parallel corpora will be designed to solve translation problems related to collocations.