The synchronous and asynchronous learning of anaphora: A corpus-based analysis with learners of English and Spanish

Keywords: anaphora, language learning, asynchronous learning, synchronous learning, learner corpus


This paper aims to investigate the use of nominal, pronominal, and zero anaphora among native speakers of Brazilian learning Spanish or English. To this purpose, two learner corpora were employed: the Brazilian Learners of Anaphora in English (BRANEN) and the Aprendices Brasileños de Anáfora en Español (BRANES). Participants were undergraduate students with an intermediate-to-advanced proficiency level in the foreign language (English or Spanish) and were randomly assigned into three groups: one had synchronous lessons on the topic, one had asynchronous lessons, and a third one was the control group (which had no lesson). They all completed short narratives in four moments, and their written texts were compiled to investigate how a different instructional mode can better contribute to the learning of this specific discourse mechanism. Third-person human subjects of finite clauses and their antecedents were manually annotated on Recogito. When analysing the pre-test, we found that learners could be less redundant and could use more zero anaphora than pronominal anaphora in English coordinate clauses and Spanish main clauses to continue the topic/subject. The experimental groups practised it during the online course and the asynchronous instructional mode proved to be more effective until the third test (immediately after the course), but the same was not found on the delayed post-test (one month later).


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How to Cite
Maraschin Bruscato, A., & Baptista, J. (2022). The synchronous and asynchronous learning of anaphora: A corpus-based analysis with learners of English and Spanish. Research in Corpus Linguistics, 11(1), 1-28.