Summer School in English Corpus Linguistics 2024 (online)

Our eleventh Summer School in English Corpus Linguistics will be held online, from 9am - 1.30pm British Summer Time, from Monday 1 to Wednesday 3 July 2024.

Important information

  • Timing: 9am - 1.30pm (UK time), Monday 1 to Wednesday 3 July
  • This event will take place on Zoom.
  • Book your place on the UCL online store
    • Fee: £165 early registration price, £195 after 14 May 2024.
    • Please email us about group rates for 5+ students.
    • Places are limited. These will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
    • Attendees are entitled to the Special Offer on our corpora.
  • Provisional timetable
  • If you have any enquiries, 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 have expanded the course over the last two years 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 course is 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 customers resident in the UK and EU.

Compatibility: The ICECUP software requires Windows to run, and has been designed to work efficiently on computers from Windows XP 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.

All attendees to the summer school will be given temporary access to ICE-GB.

Special Offer Conditions: Each student applicant for the course is entitled to one copy of one corpus and a licence in their name. We distribute 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

Provisional timetable

Day 1 - 1 July


Introduction to Corpus Linguistics and ICE-GB

Bas Aarts

11:00-11:30 Break


Using Fuzzy Tree Fragments in ICECUP

Bas Aarts and Sean Wallis

Day 2 - 2 July


Corpus Linguistics Methodology

Sean Wallis

11:00-11:30 Break


Using Corpora to Research Discourse

Beth Malory

Day 3 - 3 July


Simple Statistics for Corpus Linguistics

Sean Wallis

11:00-11:30 Break


World Englishes and Corpus Linguistics

Guyanne Wilson

This page last modified 1 January, 2024 by Survey Web Administrator.