The CASE Project: Data description and samples

A detailed corpus description is available in our article:

Brunner, Marie-Louise; Stefan Diemer; and Selina Schmidt. 2017. “... okay so good luck with that ((laughing))?” - Managing rich data in a corpus of Skype conversations. Studies in Variation, Contacts and Change in English 19 [Big and Rich Data in English Corpus Linguistics: Methods and explorations, ed. by Turo Hiltunen; Joe McVeigh; and Tanja Säily]. Helsinki: Varieng. Full text  here. [http://www.helsinki.fi/varieng/series/volumes/19/brunner_diemer_schmidt/]

Conversation topics

The following topics were provided as conversation prompts:

  1. “So, what are you studying” – Course of studies and job prospects 
  2. “And what do you do all day?” – Life as a university student 
  3. “University here and there” – Different academic cultures 
  4. “The role and future of English” – Lingua Franca & global attitudes 
  5. “Should learning be virtual?” – Mobile learning, online courses: pros & cons
  6. “How do you celebrate?” – Cultures and traditions
  7. “Let’s talk about food” – Eating habits and preferences: What do you like to eat?
  8. “What’s on?" – Popular Culture: Talk about your favorite TV show (from round 3)

The initial talks between Saarland and Sofia Universities had 12 topics which are renumbered in the finished corpus as far as possible - a list of corresponding topics follows: 

  • SF1. “So, why are you studying English?” – Course of studies and job prospects  – corresponding to 1. “So, what are you studying” – Course of studies and job prospects 
  • SF2. “And what do you do all day?” Life as a university student – corresponding to 2. “And what do you do all day?” – Life as a university student 
  • SF3. “University here and there.” – Different academic cultures & individual research interests – corresponding to 3. “University here and there” – Different academic cultures 
  • SF4. “How do you learn?” – Learning resources – no corresponding topic
  • SF5. “Our research” – Aspects  of World English – no corresponding topic
  • SF6. “Should learning be virtual?” – Mobile learning, video seminars, key-pals: pros & cons – corresponding to 5. “Should learning be virtual?” – Mobile learning, online courses: pros & cons
  • SF7. “Learning by surfing?” – Can online communication enhance language skills? – no corresponding topic
  • SF8. “How do you celebrate…?” – Cultures and traditions - corresponding to 6. “How do you celebrate?” – Cultures and traditions
  • SF9. “A network for languages?” – Computer networking in ELT and education – no corresponding topic
  • SF10. “The Future of English” – Lingua Franca & global attitudes – corresponding to 4. “The role and future of English” – Lingua Franca & global attitudes
  • SF11. “One voice or many?” – Europe and its role in the future – no corresponding topic
  • SF12. “What would you like to talk about?” – Current issues – no corresponding topic
Sociolinguistic background data
  • Gender, Nationality, Age
  • Major, Year of Studies, Affiliation
  • Native Language
  • Other languages
  • English is your … language
  • Where have you studied English?
  • How did you learn English?      
  • How long have you been learning English (in years)?    
  • Have you attended any English courses in an English speaking country?          
  • Have you lived in an English speaking country? – How long?    
  • How often do you usually use English in your studies?  
  • Who do you communicate with in English most often?   
  • What part of your communication partners are native speakers of English?       
  • What topics do you sually discuss with your partners in English?        
  • How often do you usually use English in your work?      
  • Who do you communicate with in English most often?   
  • What part of your communication partners are native speakers of English?       
  • What topics do you sually discuss with your partners in English?        
  • How often do you usually use English for personal purposes?   
  • How do you use it?      
  • Who do you communicate with in English most often?   
  • What part of your communication partners are native speakers of English?       
  • What topics do you usually discuss?    
  • What variety of English do you orient to?
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