Supporting collocation learning with a digital library

Shaoqun Wua*, Margaret Frankenb and Ian H. Wittena

aComputer Science Department, University of Waikato, New Zealand; bSchool of Education,

University of Waikato, New Zealand

Extensive knowledge of collocations is a key factor that distinguishes learners

from fluent native speakers. Such knowledge is difficult to acquire simply

because there is so much of it. This paper describes a system that exploits the

facilities offered by digital libraries to provide a rich collocation-learning

environment. The design is based on three processes that have been identified

as leading to lexical acquisition: noticing, retrieval and generation. Collocations

are automatically identified in input documents using natural language

processing techniques and used to enhance the presentation of the documents

and also as the basis of exercises, produced under teacher control, that amplify

students’ collocation knowledge. The system uses a corpus of 1.3 B short

phrases drawn from the web, from which 29 M collocations have been

automatically identified. It also connects to examples garnered from the live

web and the British National Corpus.

Keywords: CALL; collocation learning; collocation activities; automatic answer

generation; cherry-picking


The shock, anger, and sadness that the world felt when four students were killed by the National Guard during a 1970 war protest on the campus of Kent State University in Ohio will hopefully never be repeated. For researchers, students, faculty, staff, and members of the community, the memories of that tragedy, both written and recorded, have been compiled by the Department of Special Collections and Archives of Kent State University. The May 4 Collection has its own website, which is comprised of such links as a table of "Contents", "Index", "Exhibits/Chronologies", "Oral History Project", and "History Day Help". The "May 4 Collection Contents" reveals that there are 211 boxes of papers, records, newspaper articles, photographs, radio recordings, and comic strips that constitute the May 4 Collection. The "Oral History Project" link explains the ongoing project of recording "first-person narratives and personal reactions to the events of May 4, 1970." It aims to record narratives of all viewpoints of those "whose lives were

Google began setting up its digital library in 2004 to provide a service to American customers. In the past five years, it's put nearly ten million books online.

But insiders in the press as well as the publishing industry claim that Google has scanned books without authorization. And that constitutes a serious violation of copyrights.

In 2005, the digital library plan encountered resistance from US publishers. Since then, Google has faced many copyright hurdles, forcing a review of its actions.

And then the problem extended overseas. At the end of 2009, Japanese authors appealed to the government to ensure that any copies of Japanese publications would have authorization of copyright owners.

However, Google insists that its digital library plan doesn't violate copyrights.

Google's argument was refuted by a French court's rule that it infringed on copyrights by digitizing books and putting extracts online without authorization. The court in Paris ordered the Internet giant to pay over 300-thousand euros in damages and interest as well as stopping digital reproduction of material.

And since then, the lawsuits have been piling up. German chancellor Angela Merkel has stressed that Google should not be exempted from copyright laws.

Companies need to come up with digital preservation policies to deal with ever-growing volumes of digital data.

A consortium including IBM, Microsoft and Tessella Technology and Consulting has looked at the way 200 organisations are maintaining long-term access to digital information.

They say the volume of digital information held by companies will rise 25-fold over the next decade, from an average of 20Tbytes to 500Tbytes.

Organisations will need to keep documents, images, databases, websites, audio and video. Despite most knowing how important digital preservation will become, only 48% of organisations have a policy for it, and 47% a budget.

The survey was conducted as part of a European Commission-funded digital preservation project called Planets, co-ordinated by the British Library. Officials at the library are already working on preserving websites in the UK before much of their content is lost. The growing need for digital preservation means there is an increasing demand for technology to automate the processes of planning preservations, profiling collections and preserving content.

Digital libraries can provide authentic, focused material that is carefully selected

and organized, exposing learners to contemporary language usage. Subject-specific

collections give the opportunity to encounter texts that exhibit particular patterns

of both word choice and grammar. For example, student knowledge of business

language is greatly enriched by basing learning on a corpus of business reports and

product reviews (Fuentes, 2003).

Wu and Witten (2007) describe an automatically created collection of business

articles from Wikipedia, from which material such as keywords and business-related

terms and definitions were identified by mining Wikipedia’s structured format

and richly linked hypertext using standard natural language processing tools.

Three learning activities were implemented that draw attention to the salient

vocabulary of a particular topic, increase student encounters with relevant topicrelated

vocabulary, and help sustain motivation and interest through collaboration

Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) on Tuesday declared that for implementing better learning opportunity it will introduce digital libraries.

As reported by sources the declaration took place in the inauguration ceremony of an international conference on Tuesday by Kapil Sibal, Human Resources Development Minister (HRD).

The said conference will be co-hosted by R.K Pachauri. It has been reported that about 400 delegates throughout the globe will be attending the conference.

The delegates will discuss about the digital library and will make recommendations for its implementation. Sudhir Arora, Chief Librarian of IGNOU said that since distance education is gaining a lot of popularity, the recommendations made by experts will highly benefit the learning process

University Park, Pa. -- Barbara I. Dewey, dean of Libraries and professor at the University of Tennessee, has been appointed Penn State's dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications, effective August 1, pending approval by the University's Board of Trustees.

She will succeed Nancy Eaton, who has held the position since 1997 and will continue her ties with the University in retirement as dean emerita.

"The remarkable expansion of digital content and patrons' growing expectation of online access to scholarly publications have made university libraries an exceptionally complex and integral part of today's intellectual endeavors," said Penn State President Graham Spanier. "I welcome Barbara's leadership as the Penn State University Libraries continues to evolve to serve the academic and research pursuits of our students, faculty and staff."

"I am honored to lead Penn State's library enterprise, building on the tremendous success of its expert faculty and staff in this exciting period of change and transformation," said Dewey. "I look forward to working with Penn State's outstanding academic and alumni communities bringing Penn State scholarship to the world and the world's scholarship to Penn State."

As the leader of Penn State's information resources enterprise, Dewey will serve as the official representative and advocate for the University Libraries and Penn State Press and oversee approximately 1,150 full- and part-time faculty and staff. The University Libraries comprise 14 libraries at the University Park campus and libraries at 22 other campuses, Media Technology Support Services and the University Records Management Program. Collections include more than 5.2 million volumes, 69,000 serial titles, 517 databases and more than 50,000 e-books, as well as extensive holdings of maps, microforms, government publications, archives and audio-visual materials. The University Libraries and the Penn State Press jointly operate the Office of Digital Scholarly Publishing and collaborate on the development of new modes of disseminating research and scholarship.

After talking recently with an independent school administrator, I do not get the

sense other institutions are eager to part with their print collections, though they

recognize and embrace the need to integrate electronic resources – be they journals,

databases, or books – into their libraries’ collections. Certainly the college-bound

students leaving Cushing will discover books – hundreds of thousands of them – on

the shelves of the institutions of higher learning at which they will matriculate. This

point is referenced in Figure 1, which was solicited from a local school librarian after

she read the Boston Globe article.

In response to a recent inquiry regarding use of electronic books at my library, I

looked at a print collection of university press books for which we also own electronic

versions. The results surprised me. Of the 63 titles, all published in 2008, 15 of them

had been viewed online, while 23 of the print versions of these titles had circulated.

Whereas I would have expected a strong correlation between electronic and print use,

there were only six titles that were both viewed online and had circulated. The print

circulation rate for these titles is roughly the same (37 percent) as the entire circulating

Figure 1.

It is difficult to discern what these studies indicate, but I would suggest that at best

electronic books are utilized currently as a complement to print, not as a replacement.

Conversations with faculty further entrench my position that e-books are not yet an

acceptable substitute for the tried-and-true print monograph. I do believe the Kindle

can alter this mindset, but the lack of a business model for institutional subscriptions,

as well as a host of other issues, promise to delay this revv

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