Viviana Cortes is Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language (ESL) at Georgia State University (GSU) in Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States. She received her PhD in Applied Linguistics from Northern Arizona University (NAU) in 2002 and she worked for the Program of Applied Linguistics and TESL at Iowa State University (ISU) for six years before coming to GSU in the fall of 2008. Before coming to the United States to pursue her graduate studies, she worked as an EFL teacher at ICANA and at different elementary and high schools as well as at ICANAES in Buenos Aires, Argentina, her hometown.
Dr. Cortes teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in descriptive English grammar, corpus-based discourse analysis, English for Specific Purposes (ESP), and advanced academic writing for international graduate students. At GSU, she has been Associate Director for Intercultural Communication and ESL at the Center for Instructional Effectiveness since 2013. In that capacity, she works to help university students who are non-native speakers of English and to assist faculty and teaching assistants who are non-native speakers of English teaching native speaker of English student populations. This academic year, she is coordinating the first program for International Teaching Assistants (ITAs) at GSU and offering workshops that focus on issues related to international faculty and international students.
Dr. Cortes’ research interests include the analysis of recurrent word combinations, such as lexical bundles, in different academic registers, and different types of corpus-based grammatical studies as well as the use of corpora in the teaching of academic writing. She has presented her research at numerous conferences in the United States and in conferences and symposiums in Spain, Mexico, Ireland, Portugal, and Argentina. Her research articles can be found in many prestigious journals such as English for Specific Purposes, Applied Linguistics, the Journal of English for Academic Purposes, Linguistics and Education, and Corpora, and in several edited books. Her latest publication is a book she co-edited with Dr. Eniko Csomay, Corpus-based research in applied linguistics: Essays in honor of Doug Biber, published by John Benjamins in 2015.
Plenary 1: What your textbook is not telling you: The truth about formulaic language
EFL Teachers feel very often frustrated because they are not sure if the language used in the textbooks they are required to use in their teaching situations reflect the real language that people use in English speaking countries. For many years, materials designers have relied on intuition or on previous work conducted in the field of discourse analysis to make decisions on what they should include in the textbooks they design. Nowadays, with the advancements of computers and the use of language corpora to investigate language use, materials designers can rely on empirically-based findings to make more informed decisions.
The presentation includes a detailed description of the type of expressions found in textbooks and those that should have been included because of their saliency in the language, as well as suggestions for the application of corpus-based findings to the design of materials for the teaching of different types of formulaic expressions.
Plenary 2: Checking our language intuitions: Corpora and Content-based instruction (CBI)
Before the advancements brought about by the use of computers and corpora in linguistic analysis, the relationship between intuition and reality in language description was very limited. Nowadays, it is very simple to check weather what we believe is real language is actually real.
This presentation will focus on the use of corpora in language teaching in general and in content-based language teaching in particular. The presentation will start with a discussion of the three general approaches to the use of corpus-based materials and tools in the language classroom: using the results of corpus-based investigations from the literature to check linguistic intuitions or to create, evaluate, or adapt classroom materials and activities; collecting and analyzing corpora to use our own findings in the design of curricula and materials for our classes; and introducing corpora in our classrooms, training our students to analyze corpora and corpus-based findings to use corpus tools. In addition, the presentation will introduce actual samples of corpus-based or corpus-informed materials and activities that could be used in content-based instruction or English for Specific Purposes (ESP) scenarios.