Research Article

Integrating corpus work into secondary education: From data-driven learning to needs-driven corpora

Sabine Brauna1

a1 Centre for Translation Studies, Department of Languages and Translation Studies, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH, UK (email:


This paper reports on an empirical case study conducted to investigate the overall conditions and challenges of integrating corpus materials and corpus-based learning activities into English-language classes at a secondary school in Germany. Starting from the observation that in spite of the large amount of research into corpus-based language learning, hands-on work with corpora has remained an exception in secondary schools, the paper starts by outlining a set of pedagogical requirements for corpus integration and the approach which has formed the basis for designing the case study. Then the findings of the study are reported and discussed. As a result of the methodological challenges identified in the study, the author argues for a move from ‘data-driven learning’ to needs-driven corpora, corpus activities and corpus methodologies.


  • corpus-based language learning;
  • corpus integration;
  • pedagogically relevant corpora