Summer School in English Corpus Linguistics 2022 (online)

Our ninth Summer School in English Corpus Linguistics was online from 9am - 1pm British Summer Time from 20 to 22 June 2022.

Important information

  • Timing: 9am - 1pm (UK time), Monday 20 to Wednesday 22 June
  • This event took place on Zoom.
  • Timetable
  • For enquiries about next year's Summer School, 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 was an online version of our Summer School course, which is designed to give students a deep understanding of Corpus Linguistics. In our face-to-face version, class sizes were limited to 30 places, with two or three lecturers who teach together, allowing students the opportunity to ask questions and discuss issues. We expanded the course this year due to high demand.

To give you a flavour of the course in previous years, 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 three days, participants 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 should 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 was an online version of our three day Summer School made accessible across time zones.

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

Students 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 are 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 UK and EU customers.

Compatibility: The ICECUP software requires Windows to run, and has been designed to work efficiently on computers from Windows 3.1 to 11. (It will also run on a Mac using Windows and an emulator such as VirtualBox.) You may also wish to check if your university has a license - many colleges are now running ICECUP on institutional Windows servers.

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

If you are not a student and wish to take advantage of the special offer, please email us. We advise customers to buy the corpus as normal on the online store, following which we will reimburse the purchaser's credit card for the 25% reduction. Let us know in advance before you wish to do this.

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

ICE-GB Licence
DCPSE licence


Day 1 - 20 June


An Introduction to English Corpus Linguistics

Bas Aarts
11:00-11:15 Break

Introducing ICE-GB and DCPSE and their Functionality

Bas Aarts

Day 2 - 21 June


Corpus Linguistics Methodology

Sean Wallis
11:00-11:15 Break

Searching the Corpus: Wildcards, FTFs and Combining Queries

Bas Aarts and Sean Wallis

Day 3 - 22 June


Simple Statistics for Corpus Linguistics

Sean Wallis
11:00-11:15 Break

Quantity and Quality: Large Corpora and Specialised Corpora

Rachele de Felice

This page last modified 18 August, 2022 by Survey Web Administrator.