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English Language in Use

The research group English Language in Use (ELiU) was established in 2012 as the Corpus Linguistics Group (CorLing). 

Faculty of Education
Academic discipline:
Language and literature
Illustration photo Photo: Colourbox

Photo: Colourbox

Its members include both senior researchers and early career researchers in the English Department at INN University's Faculty of Education. The group actively collaborates with researchers from INN University's Norwegian Department, as well as national and international scholars from other institutions. 

What we research

The main focus of ELiU is on corpus linguistics and learner language. Corpus linguists investigate authentic oral and written language using data from corpora, i.e. collections of machine-readable and searchable texts. Accessing corpora of English learner language (both written and spoken) allows researchers to to chart the skills possessed by, and challenges faced by, learners of English at various stages of proficiency, and to identify factors that may influence their linguistic development.

More about the research group

EliU members research different thematic areas, with examples ranging from textual coherence to metaphor use. ELIU members also conduct contrastive linguistic research, comparing parallel texts in multilingual corpora with a view to identifying structural similarities and differences between several languages (including English and Norwegian). EliU members also concern themselves with the potential of corpora in the language classroom. In recent years, the group has broadened its scope to encompass additional aspects of English in use, using various sources of data.


A selection of current EliU projects:

  • Postgraduate Academic Writing in Norway ( PAWN): Investigates academic writing at the master and doctoral levels. The data compilation of student texts (master theses and doctoral dissertations produced at colleges and universities in Norway) was carried out in 2018. These texts cover multiple disciplines. The overall goal of the project is to study the development og academic writing skills and to study disciplinary characteristics. Contact person:  Sylvi Rørvik
  • Metaphor in Academic Talk: L2 metaphor production in Higher Education CLIL discussion Seminars (MetCLIL): Investigates the use of metaphor in academic discussion seminars in contexts where English is a medium of instruction (EMI), also known as Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL). This project, funded by the Spanish Research Council, is led by the University of Extremadura is Spain, and involves collaboration between researchers in the Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Portugal, the UK and Norway (INN University). Contact person:  Susan Nacey 
  • Multilingual student translation corpus ( MUST): Compilation of an international translation corpus, composed of translations are made by university students in different European countries, both to and from the students’ L1. The aim of the corpus is to facilitate research into second language acquisition and translation, for example students’ translation from mother tongue to foreign languages, or their translation solutions or challenges in translation. MUST is led by the Centre for English Corpus Linguistics at Université catholique de Louvain. The Norwegian component is managed the University of Agder, with contributions from the University of Oslo and INN University. Contact person: Siri Fürst Skogmo
  • Corpus of laterals project (COLATERAL)This project investigates /l/-sounds (laterals) in a cross-linguistic perspective, with a view to identifying the acoustic and articulatory differences between laterals in English, Norwegian and German. Samples of laterals have been and will be recorded from native speakers of all three languages and from two modes – speech and classical singing. Ultimately, the findings will be applied in the L2 phonetics teaching of English and German speech and singing. The project involves researchers at INN and the University of Oslo/(The Norwegian Academy of Music). Contact person: Gjertrud F. Stenbrenden

ELiU doctoral projects

  • Individual aspects of fluency: A contrastive study og utterance fluency variations in native and interlanguage speech: Investigates spoken English interlanguage, with an emphasis on the features that may contribute to fluency (e.g. pauses and fillers) and the potential for transfer of fluency-related features between a speaker’s languages. The material is drawn from the Norwegian component of the Louvain International Database of Spoken English Interlanguage ( LINDSEI), as well as a comparable corpus of interviews in Norwegian, compiled for the purpose of this investigation. Contact person:  Hege Larsson Aas
  • The use of corpora by English language teachers: Investigates the use of corpora in English language teaching in Norway, focussing on the extent of corpus use (and non-use) among teachers, what corpora teachers use and what for, and what teachers new to corpora find useful or challenging. Contact person:  Barry Kavanagh
  • Corpora in the EFL classroom: Toward a discovery learning approach: Investigates the use of corpora as a potential learning tool in the English as a foreign language [EFL] classroom. The research focuses on direct learner interaction with corpora and aims to examine teacher and learner beliefs, experiences, and perspectives with different corpus resources. The project primarily relies on interview and observation data. Contact person:  Petter Hagen Karlsen
  • A Corpus-Based Network Approach to Second Language Acquisition and TeachingInvestigates second language acquisition in the light of usage-based construction grammar and further aims to bring linguistic theory and classroom approaches closer together. The research is based on a corpus compiled specifically for the project, as well as available L2 (e.g. EFCAMDAT) and native speaker corpora. Contact person: Linda Gerisch
  • A qualitative metaphor analysis and comparison between English L1 and L2 speakers: Investigates metaphor production in the written English of L1 Finnish and L1 Russian learners of English. Contact person: Renata Turunen (starting date 01 August 2021)
ELiU at a web meeting during the pandemic.
From a web meeting during the pandemic. (Photo: INN University)

A selection of earlier ELiU projects:

  • The Norwegian component of the Louvain International Database of Spoken English Interlanguage ( LINDSEI; completed but not yet released): Interviews in English of Norwegian students of English. This corpus will be released in the second edition of  LINDSEI
  • Norwegian-English Student Translations ( NEST; completed): A bilingual corpus containing translated texts written by Norwegian students of English and relevant metadata. The searchable corpus (tagged for part of speech)  NEST is freely available.
  • Tracking Written Learner Language ( TraWL): A longitudinal corpus of authentic pupil texts and relevant metadata, compiled by CorLing members in collaboration with researchers at the University of Oslo, University of Agder and the Centre for English Corpus Linguistics in Belgium. The texts are written in English by Norwegian schoolchildren from 5th grade through the upper secondary level, over a period of at least three years. The  TraWL project seeks to research the development of written competence in schoolchildren from various angles. IN 2019, project ownership was transferred from INN University to the University of Oslo.

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