Summer School in English Corpus Linguistics 2021 (online)

Our eighth Summer School in English Corpus Linguistics will be run in an online form from 9am - 1pm British Summer Time on 1 and 2 July 2021.

Important information

  • Timing: 9am - 1pm (UK time), Thurday 1 and Friday 2 July
  • This event will take place on Zoom.
  • Provisional Timetable
  • Book online (£99 (GBP) early registration price, £125 after 14 May 2021).
    • Due to high demand we have increased the number of places available to 90.
  • If you have any enquiries, feel free to email us!

About the Summer School

The Summer School is an introduction to Corpus Linguistics for students of language and linguistics and teachers of English. Participants should have a basic knowledge of English linguistics and grammar. Students will gain experience with a state-of-art corpus and an understanding of basic statistical ideas.

This is a two-day version of our regular Summer School course designed to give students a deep understanding of Corpus Linguistics. Normally class sizes are limited to 30 places, with two lecturers who teach together, allowing students the opportunity to ask questions and discuss issues. We have expanded the course this year due to high demand.

To give you a flavour of the course, one participant commented:

“All topics are useful and informative. Along with the exploration of the ICE-GB, I had a valuable chance to review English syntax, to overview different corpora and to enhance my understanding in the use of statistics in linguistics in a meaningful way.”

Aims and objectives

Over the course of the two days, participants will learn about the following:

  • the scope of Corpus Linguistics, and how we can use it to study the English Language;
  • key issues in Corpus Linguistics methodology;
  • how to use corpora to analyse issues in syntax and semantics;
  • basic elements of statistics;
  • how to navigate large and small corpora, particularly ICE-GB and DCPSE.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, participants will have:

  • acquired a basic but solid knowledge of the terminology, concepts and methodologies used in English Corpus Linguistics;
  • had practical experience working with two state-of-the-art corpora and a corpus exploration tool (ICECUP);
  • have gained an understanding of the breadth of Corpus Linguistics and the potential application for projects;
  • have learned about the fundamental concepts of inferential statistics and their practical application to Corpus Linguistics.

Further details

This is a two day online version of our three day Summer School that we have reduced in length in order to deliver it online.

The course is very much a practical, hands-on course.

Students will focus on two particular corpora, both developed at UCL. These are the British component of the International Corpus of English (ICE-GB), and the Diachronic Corpus of Present-day Spoken English (DCPSE). These corpora consist of authentic samples of written and spoken English and are unusual in that they are fully parsed, i.e. they contain a complete grammatical tree analysis for every sentence. Students will use the state-of-art software developed for research with grammatical treebanks, ICECUP, to explore these rich resources.

Students will be taught statistics fundamentals from the ground up, from probability theory to distributions, confidence intervals and statistical tests. No prior knowledge of statistics is assumed.

What students say

This course has run face-to-face in UCL for several years. We had extremely positive feedback from those who attended — as the following sample comments from previous years indicate:

“I am amazed by your availability and helpfulness throughout the summer school. 4 tutors for 21 students, that is a support-ratio I have never had in my (university) education before. Maybe I should go to more summer schools.”

“[Deciding what was most useful for me was a] difficult choice because each session offered a link to the next (admirably cohesive) and all were very useful — perhaps I'll opt for what I was least comfortable with, statistics.”

“I learned that it might actually be possible for me to understand statistics. It was also very useful to be told by experts about things that I have accumulated some knowledge about in the last couple of years, but not really been formally taught about. I gained some basic ICECUP skills, which is great because it really seems an amazing tool.”

“The advice on formulating research questions was particularly useful and gave me lots of new things to consider and apply to my own work.”

Special offer — ICE-GB or DCPSE

  • Students in full-time education: free copy of either ICE-GB or DCPSE (Student Licence).
  • All other registrants: 25% off the Individual Licence for either
    • ICE-GB (regular price £365 now £273.75) or
    • DCPSE (regular price £349 now £261.75).
      Note: these prices exclude VAT at 20%, which is payable for EU customers.

Compatibility: The ICECUP software requires Windows to run, and has been designed to work efficiently on computers from Windows 3.1 to 10. (It will also run on a Mac using Windows and an emulator such as Parallels. You may wish to check if your university has a license - it may be running ICECUP on its institutional Windows server.)

Special Offer Conditions: Each student applicant for the course is entitled to one copy of one corpus and a licence in their name. We intend to distribute these copies by digital download before the Summer School to allow students to install it in advance.

Participants who are not students and wish to purchase our software can pay in advance using the credit card form. (The reduced-price offer is not currently available on the UCL online store.) Please email us for more information.

For licence terms and general ordering information see the links below.

ICE-GB Licence
DCPSE licence

Provisional Timetable

Day 1


Corpus Linguistics Methodology

Bas Aarts
11:00-11:15 Break

Corpus Exploration using ICECUP

Bas Aarts and Sean Wallis

Day 2


Simple Statistics for Corpus Linguistics

Sean Wallis
11:00-11:15 Break

Practical session with ICE-GB and DCPSE

Bas Aarts and Sean Wallis

This page last modified 6 May, 2021 by Survey Web Administrator.