COBUILD: The Evolving Corpus – How corpus use has changed over the years

Concordance lines for chair, generated by the corpus

Size matters when it comes to corpora. At 220 million words of text, the corpus used to create the second edition of the COBUILD dictionary in 1995 was over ten times the size of the one used for the first edition, and 220 times bigger than the first electronic corpora developed in the 1960s and […]

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COBUILD: Shifting senses – How the meanings of words change

In the 30 years since the publication of the first COBUILD dictionary, a whole flurry of new words has come into the language and as they’ve caught on and become part of everyday usage, they’ve been added to the dictionary. I’m not just talking about the trendy new coinages that occasionally hit the headlines; think […]

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COBUILD: The early years. Part 2 – A dictionary from a corpus

By the time I arrived at COBUILD as part of the 1993 intake recruited to work on the second edition of the dictionary, the whole project had been fully computerised for several years. This meant working on screen at terminals linked to mainframe computers that hummed away in a separate room, still with the green […]

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COBUILD: Design and Layout – Changes over the last 30 years

Where were you 30 years ago? I was in the middle of my university studies, still to embark on my ELT career, and as such, a smidgin too late to be part of the intrepid and free-spirited COBUILD dictionary team. Led by the late John Sinclair, this large young team was involved in bringing to […]

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COBUILD: The early years. Part 1 – Where it all began

I have always counted myself as incredibly fortunate to have worked as part of the COBUILD team at the time that I did, between October 1983 and the end of 1986. I was not quite 24 when I arrived in Birmingham, not knowing one end of a dictionary definition from another. By the time I […]

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New editions of Collins COBUILD Dictionaries – Out now!

In celebration of COBUILD’s 30th anniversary, Collins is proud to launch new editions of its three most popular Collins COBUILD dictionaries, out today: Primary Learner’s Dictionary Intermediate Learner’s Dictionary Advanced Learner’s Dictionary To find out more about these dictionaries, take a look at our new COBUILD Dictionaries leaflet. So what’s new? Up-to-date coverage of today’s […]

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Encouraging IELTS students to read beyond the course book

It comes as no surprise that reading widely is proven to increase reading fluency. However, many students are still in need of a little encouragement and guidance to build the skills required to read confidently outside of the course book. Here are a few ways you can incorporate authentic readings into your IELTS preparation course […]

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Exploring language change

This article has been written by Penny Hands, who is one of the contributors to the Collins COBUILD English Grammar When a new edition of a grammar is launched, teachers and students may well wonder what can be new about a grammar. We all know about new words, which grab the headlines at every new […]

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Futurity

  This article has been written by Damian Williams, who is an ELT author and teacher trainer.   Very early on in my teaching career, I remember addressing a class of Russian teenagers with the statement, ‘Will is the future tense in English.’ It was only later as I started developing as a teacher and […]

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