Steve Darn - ELT
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Lingonet VideoCorpus


Lingonet Video Corpus (2 CD-ROM Set)
Lingonet Oy, 2006
ISBN: 9525285448

This double-CD set is an addition to the Lingonet Oy range of language teaching materials based on video clips on CD. The content of the package is a collection of short video clips featuring British people discussing 15 major issues ranging from morality and welfare to politicians and the power of the press. Total viewing time is around 10 hours, each topic being divided into between 12 and 20 segments of about 2 minutes each. The text for each segment can be viewed, while the total text of around 75,000 words forms the corpus.

The video clips and texts have two functions, at two very different levels of interest. The clips offer practice in listening to authentic speech, though there is an air of unreality about the clips which suggests an element of scripting. Academic skills such as note taking can be developed. The texts can be used for reading and vocabulary extension or, since they can be viewed adjacent to the video screen, in a listen-and-follow mode. There are no tasks linked to the material, and the nature of the topics and complexity of the language suggest that the teacher would need to provide extensive cultural background and vocabulary input to enable intermediate learners in an EFL context to manage the listenings.

he corpus combines the audio transcripts in one text file for concordance search purposes. The ‘TextSTAT’ search tool is included to facilitate searches for idioms, collocations, structures and vocabulary. The texts are also available on the Internet for those preferring other concordancing mechanisms. This aspect of the package offers opportunities for learners to delve into the language, but may also be attractive to others interested in analysing lexis.

Whilst offering a variety of teaching and learning opportunities, the utility of such software is largely dependent on the availability of hardware on a class scale, and on ease of operation. The review copy required the download of a variety of players before it would function properly, and the concordancing tools seemed less than user-friendly. Notwithstanding technical difficulties, a useful source of viewing, listening and reading material.

195 March/April 2007

Re: Lingonet Video Corpus

Following my review of this 2-CD set in Voices, Issue 195, Pekka Lehtiö and the team at Lingonet Oy have been busy ironing out any snags with the software and were good enough to send me a new copy for tests. I am pleased to report that there were no problems loading the software, or accessing the video clips and corpus using standard players such as Windows Media Player and i-tunes. The software is easy to use and provides good listening and reading material, while the corpus is a useful tool for identifying and analysing language patterns.