chapter  8
Corpora in perspective
Pages 13

It might at first sight seem strange to have a chapter that looks at the limitations of corpora, and reservations about corpora, in a book that aims to promote the use of corpora in ELT. However, my belief is that we will only be able to make optimum use of corpora if we have a measured view of their value and a strong sense of their most appropriate applications in ELT. After all, nobody would dispute that a hammer is a valuable tool, but it helps to know that it is good for hitting nails rather than cutting down trees. In this chapter we deal first with general reservations about the nature of corpus evidence before dealing in some detail with the ELF school of thought that has suggested that ELT corpora have tended to privilege the native speaker.