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  • 1.
    Jansson, Håkan
    et al.
    Gothenburg University.
    Johansson Kokkinakis, Sofie
    Gothenburg University.
    Ribeck, Judy
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies (from 2013).
    Sköldberg, Emma
    Gothenburg University.
    A Swedish Academic Word List: Methods and Data2012In: Proceedings of the 15th EURALEX International Congress / [ed] Ruth Vatvedt Fjeld & Julie Matilde Torjusen, Oslo: University of Oslo , 2012, p. 555-560Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Academic language often presents a challenge to students, both language learners and native speakers. Therefore there is a need for educational language tools such as academic vocabulary resources. To date, resources developed have mainly focussed on learners of English; similar support is not yet available for Swedish. This paper reports on three different approaches to compiling a corpus of authentic academic text material used in academic settings. The purpose is to compose an empirical basis for the construction of a Swedish academic word list which can be used in language teaching. Because we have chosen to follow the method used for the creation of The Academic Word List (Coxhead 2000), the corpus content is crucial to the final content of our word list.

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  • 2.
    Laveborn, Joel
    Karlstad University.
    Video Game Vocabulary: The effect of video games on Swedish learners‟ word comprehension2009Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Video games are very popular among children in the Western world. This study was done in order to investigate if video games had an effect on 49 Swedish students‟ comprehension of English words (grades 7-8). The investigation was based on questionnaire and word test data. The questionnaire aimed to measure with which frequency students were playing video games, and the word test aimed to measure their word comprehension in general. In addition, data from the word test were used to investigate how students explained the words. Depending on their explanations, students were categorized as either using a “video game approach” or a “dictionary approach” in their explanations.

    The results showed a gender difference, both with regard to the frequency of playing and what types of games that were played. Playing video games seemed to increase the students‟ comprehension of English words, though there was no clear connection between the frequency with which students were playing video games and the choice of a dictionary or video game approach as an explanation.

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  • 3.
    Ribeck, Judy
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies (from 2013). Göteborgs universitet.
    Automatically identifying typical vocabulary in Swedish textbooks in the natural sciences2016In: ECER 2016, Leading Education: The Distinct Contributions of Educational Research and Researchers, 2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    According to functional linguistic theory, the acquisition of knowledge and that of language are parallel phenomena (see for example Halliday 1985). At the same time, different subjects and disciplines have developed their own ways to describe the world, to construe meaning and their own linguistic means to exploit and present this knowledge. As concluded by Ribeck and Borin (in press) within the field of Swedish textbook studies, subjects cannot be generalized with respects to lexical features. Sadly, both Nordic and international studies have indicated that subject-specific linguistic distinctions rarely are made explicit to the students (Chandler 1995, Dysthe et al. 2006). A direct consequence of this situation is that students often perceive form level transitions as ‘’discoursal shocks’’ (Ask 2005). To prevent language related traumas from occurring and to instead be able to offer well-informed and adequate linguistic support to students, the school needs to be more aware of specific linguistic demands at different form levels. Altogether there seems to be an undisputed call for subject-specific language studies.

    My poster presentation will be of a study that constitutes a subset of my newly published dissertation in natural language processing within the field of subject-specific language. The overall purpose of my thesis is to account for subject-specific grammatical features on the educational levels of the Swedish secondary and upper secondary school. This undertaking includes identification of typical linguistic patterns related to vocabulary, phraseology and syntax. I am also interested in describing the linguistic progression in the textbooks from different subjects, from secondary school textbooks, though upper secondary school textbooks, up to academic (university-level) texts.

    In my poster presentation, I intend to focus the lexical inventory part of this task, which includes automatic identification of core-vocabulary with subject-specific usages. I will show examples of index lists over vocabulary extracted from a corpus of 5.2 million words originating from Swedish secondary and upper secondary textbooks in the natural sciences, social sciences and mathematics. The linguistic investigation focuses on features in the natural sciences, i.e., biology, physics and chemistry, and textbooks from other disciplines are mainly included for comparative purposes. Besides internally comparing the textbook registers from different disciplines to one another, the textbooks in natural science are also compared to reference corpora, comprising narrative and academic texts.

    Method

    My work describes a quantitative procedure for characterizing the register of Swedish textbooks in natural sciences, i.e. from the subject fields of biology, chemistry and physics. The method is corpus-based and uses tools from language technology to automatically produce, what I call, index lists. This empirical, corpus-based method relies on automatic linguistic annotations produced by language technology tools to calculate what I call index lists, rank-ordered lists of characteristic linguistic features of specific text corpora as compared to reference texts. The idea of such lists originates from the project to develop an academic word list for Swedish (Ribeck et al. 2014). I produce index lists for typical vocabulary, extracted from a 5.2 million word textbook corpus. As well as being frequent and well dispersed, the linguistic variables selected for the index lists are also characteristic of the text type in question, as is evident when they are compared to a reference corpus, comprising textbooks in the social sciences and mathematics, as well as narrative and academic texts.

    Expected Outcomes

    The results show that textbooks in natural science contain a lot of content-specific, technical vocabulary. This characteristic not only distinguishes natural scientific language from everyday language, but also from social scientific language, which on the lexical level has more in common with narrative texts. In the transition between secondary and upper secondary school, there is an evident increase in linguistic demands on the readers. In the upper secondary textbooks the words are longer and the vocabulary more varied. Notably, the linguistic development between the form levels is more marked in the natural-science textbooks, compared to social sciences and mathematics. Nevertheless, the textbook language overall shows a relatively low lexical complexity in comparison to academic language. To this day, the Swedish curriculum lacks explicit descriptions of the expected linguistic progression in relation to different subjects and form levels. With my results I make an empiric contribution to the theoretical foundation on how the language in natural science is construed in Swedish educational context. My wish is that my study will give educational researchers, language instructors and other educationists, who actively work to support students' development of subject-specific linguistic competence, the basis for further discussion on how an effective development of language teaching should be designed. I also hope that presenting this study to educational researchers from other countries will inspire them to conduct similar linguistic investigations of texts that students in their country need to master during their years of schooling.

    References

    Ask, Sofia 2005. Tillgång till framgång. Lärare och studenter om stadieövergången till högre utbildning. Växjö: University of Växjö, Department of arts.

    Chandler, Daniel 1995. The act of writing. A media theory approach. Aberystwyth: University of Wales.

    Dysthe, Olga, Siri Breistein, Jens Kjeldsen and Liv Ingeborg Lied 2006. Studentperspektiv på rettleiing. Dysthe, Olga and Akylina Samara (eds.), Forskningsveiledning på master- og doktorgradsnivå, 207–227. Oslo: Abstrakt Forlag.

    Halliday, Michael Alexander Kirkwood 1985. An introduction to functional grammar. London: Edward Arnold Ltd.

    Ribeck, Judy and Lars Borin 2014. Lexical bundles in Swedish secondary school textbooks. Human language technology challenges for computer science and linguistics. Lecture notes in computer science, 238–249. Berlin: Springer International Publishing.

    Ribeck, Judy, Håkan Jansson and Emma Sköldberg 2014. Från aspekt till övergripande – en ordlista över svensk akademisk vobabulär. Vatvedt Fjeld, Rut and Marit Hovdenak (eds.), Nordiska studier i lexikografi 12. Rapport från konferensen om lexikografi i Norden, August 2013. Oslo, 370-384.

  • 4.
    Ribeck, Judy
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies (from 2013). University of Gothenburg.
    Identifying Lexical Bundles in Secondary School Textbooks2011In: Proceedings of the 5th Language & Technology Conference: Human Language Technologies as a Challenge for Computer Science and Linguists / [ed] Xygmunt Vetualani, 2011, p. 202-206Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The paper describes the process of identifying lexical bundles, i.e. frequently recurring word sequences such as by means of and in the end of, in secondary school textbooks of history and physics. In its determination of finding genuine lexical bundles, i.e. the word boundaries between lexical bundles and surrounding arbitrary words, it proposes a new approach to come to terms with the problem of extracting overlapping bundles of different lengths. The results show that surprisingly few bundles are common to both subjects. The structural distribution across the subjects indicates that history uses more NP/PP-based and less dependent-clause-based bundles than physics. The comparative analysis manages to restrict this difference to the referential function. History almost only refers to phrases, i.e. within clauses, while physics much more tends to make references across clauses.

  • 5.
    Ribeck, Judy
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies (from 2013). Göteborgs universitet.
    Introducing index lists as a tool for identifying typical linguistic features of specialized registers: With examples from Swedish textbooks in Natural Sciences2015In: 13th International Conference on Textbooks and Educational Media, 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Both Nordic and international studies have indicated that subject-specific linguistic distinctions rarely are made explicit to students (chandler, 1995; dysthe et al., 2006). To be able to offer students adequate support, we need to be more knowledgeable of specific linguistic demands at different form levels. This calls for large-scale subject-specific empi-rical language studies.

    My work describes a quantitative procedure for characterizing the register of Swedish text-books in natural sciences, i.e. from the subject fields of biology, chemistry and physics. The method is corpus-based and uses tools from language technology to automatically produce, what I call, index lists, i.e. lists of salient features of specialized language. The idea of such lists originates from the project to develop an academic word list for Swedish (riBecK et al., 2014). This method, which originally focused purely on lexical items, i.e. words, has been adjusted in order to also extract variables on the phraseological and syntactic levels of language.

    In my presentation I will show examples of index lists over vocabulary, nominal phrases and syntactic structures, extracted from a corpus of 5 million words originating from Swedish secondary and upper secondary textbooks in natural science.

  • 6.
    Ribeck, Judy
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies (from 2013). Göteborgs universitet.
    Naturvetenskapliga läroböcker ställer höga språkliga krav på eleverna2016Conference paper (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 7.
    Ribeck, Judy
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Steg för steg. Naturvetenskapligt ämnesspråk som räknas2015Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In this work, I present a linguistic investigation of the language of Swedish textbooks in the natural sciences, i.e., biology, physics and chemistry. The textbooks, which are used in secondary and upper secondary school, are examined with respect to traditional readability measures, e.g., LIX, OVIX and nominal ratio. I also extract typical linguistic features of the texts, typicality being determined using a proposed quantitative method, labelled the index principle. This empirical, corpus-based method relies on automatic linguistic annotations produced by language technology tools to calculate what I call index lists, rank-ordered lists of characteristic linguistic features of specific text corpora as compared to reference texts. I produce index lists for typical vocabulary, noun phrase structures and syntactic structures, extracted from a 5.2 million word textbook corpus, compiled as a part of the work presented. As well as being frequent and well dispersed, the linguistic variables selected for the index lists are also characteristic of the text type in question, as is evident when they are compared to a reference corpus, comprising textbooks in the social sciences and mathematics, as well as narrative and academic (university-level) texts. The results show that textbooks in natural science contain a lot of content-specific, technical vocabulary. This characteristic not only distinguishes natural scientific language from everyday language, but also from social scientific language, which on the lexical level has more in common with narrative texts. On the other hand, the textbook language as a whole is structurally distinguishable from narrative texts, as clearly seen, e.g., in its noun phrase complexity. In the transition between secondary and upper secondary school, the scores of almost every readability measure go up, indicating an increase in linguistic demands on the readers. In the upper secondary textbooks the words are longer, the vocabulary more varied, the noun phrases longer and more elaborate, and the most typical syntactic structures more complex. Notably, the linguistic development between the form levels is more marked in the natural-science textbooks, compared to social sciences and mathematics. Nevertheless, the textbook language overall shows a relatively low complexity in comparison to academic language.

  • 8.
    Ribeck, Judy
    et al.
    University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Jansson, Håkan
    University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Johansson Kokkinakis, Sofie
    University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Prentice, Julia
    University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Carlund, Carina
    University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    An academic word list for Swedish: a support for language learners in higher education2012In: Proceedings of the SLTC 2012: workshop on NLP for CALL, Linköping University Electronic Press, 2012, Vol. 80, p. 20-27Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The paper describes the ongoing development of compiling and introducing a Swedish academic word list (SAWL), inter alia intended to be used as a lexical resource in CALL-applications in relation to higher academic studies. When it comes to language acquisition, resources like these play an important part in instructed language learning. So far, no such resource exists for Swedish. The format of SAWL has been elaborated in collaboration with the Language Support Service at the University of Gothenburg. SAWL is compiled with methods from corpus linguistics inspired by research on English academic words (Coxhead 2002). Our work includes collection and syntactic annotation of learner corpora of Swedish academic texts from a wide range of university subjects within the Faculty of Arts. The corpora are freely accessible through Språkbanken. SAWL are designed with university students and language learners with Swedish or other linguistic backgrounds in mind. The word list and the corpora can be used for studies of one’s own or in classroom situations, as well as forming a component of computer computerbased language assessment and CALLrelated application platforms.

  • 9.
    Rosstorp Luff, Jeremy
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Education.
    The effects of online communication on English language acquisition: A study of teacher and student views2011Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The internet offers not only a vast amount of information and entertainment, but also allows for communication. Language learners around the world have the ability to hone their skills using online resources and connect with their peers in a way that was not possible prior to 1990 when the World Wide Web came to be. While technology improves in leaps and bounds, the schools that teach languages, such as Swedish schools teaching English, do their best to keep up. In online communities, language use may differ very much from the English taught in the classroom. Is the difference today so great that English language teachers need to reconsider their choice of model? Previous research suggests that online registers can coexist with standard English, and that the two can be mutually beneficial. However, there are factors to take into account in order for online communication to be an asset to an English language student.This paper is a qualitative study based on an interview with a teacher of English and a questionnaire survey with the teacher’s students. The aim is to identify different types of online communication, state their potential for students’ acquisition of English and then see how that potential corresponds with the teacher’s own experiences of how her students’ language development is affected. The study shows that some forms of online communication predominate and that not paying attention to all the forms available can affect a student’s school results in a negative way. The study also shows, in agreement with previous research, that the potential of online communication to influence the use of English is not to be ignored in view of the increasing rate at which people spend their time on the Internet.

  • 10.
    Schalley, Andrea C.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies (from 2013).
    Ontologies and ontological methods in linguistics2019In: Language and Linguistics Compass, ISSN 1749-818X, E-ISSN 1749-818X, Vol. 13, no 11, p. 1-19, article id e12356Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the last decade, linguists have started to develop and make use of ontologies, encouraged by the progress made in areas such as Artificial Intelligence and the Semantic Web. This paper gives an overview of notions and dimensions of “ontology” and of ontologies for and in linguistics. It discusses building blocks, design aspects, and capabilities of formal ontologies and provides some implementation pointers. The focus of this paper, however, is on linguistic research and what a modelling framework based on ontologies has to offer. Accordingly, the paper does not aim at providing an overview of specific models for computational processing. To illustrate the issues at hand, an example scenario from linguistic typology is selected instead, where the aim of describing the world's languages is approached through ontologies.

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