1007 Theories and Methods for Analysing Language Data: Corpus Linguistics and Conversation Analysis
Univ.Prof. Almut Köster, M.A.,Ph.D.
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
09/28/23 to 10/01/23
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Day Date Time Room
Wednesday 11/08/23 12:00 PM - 03:00 PM D2.2.228
Wednesday 11/22/23 12:00 PM - 03:00 PM D2.2.228
Wednesday 11/29/23 12:00 PM - 03:00 PM D2.2.228
Wednesday 12/06/23 12:00 PM - 03:00 PM D2.2.228
Wednesday 01/17/24 12:00 PM - 03:00 PM D2.2.228
Friday 01/19/24 01:00 PM - 05:00 PM D2.2.228
Wednesday 01/24/24 12:00 PM - 04:30 PM D2.2.228

This course is aimed at PhD students who are using language data (e.g. interviews, online texts, meetings and conversations) for their research. It will provide an overview of two widely used methods for analysing written and spoken language data: Corpus Linguistics and Conversation Analysis. Corpus Linguistics combines quantitative and qualitative methods to analyse medium to large collections of texts, whereas Conversation Analysis provides a qualitative method for analysing spoken interactions. The course should thus be of interest to any doctoral or PhD students using written or spoken language data in their research, such as texts collected from the internet or transcriptions of interviews or naturally-occurring conversations. The sessions will introduce seminar participants to the key theories, principles and methods of Corpus Linguisitics and Conversation Analysis respectively. It will involve them in practical activities and introduce them to tools for analysing real interactions and for exploring corpus data. The course content will be adapted to the needs of the participants.

Learning outcomes

After attending this course, students will:

  • understand the principles of Corpus Linguistics;
  • be able to use a range of corpus methods and tools, including frequency lists, keywords and concordances;
  • be familiar with a range of corpora and corpus types;
  • understand the principles of Conversation Analysis;
  • be able to analyse the key structures of spoken interactions, including turn-taking, adjacency pairs and repair;
  • have an awareness of how corpus methods and conversation analysis complement each other can be combined with other methods.
Attendance requirements

Attendance required through the entire course. In exceptional cases you may miss one (1) seminar unit.

Teaching/learning method(s)

The sessions will consist of a combination of lecture-style input, practical activities and student presentations, as well as feedback and discussion of the presentations.

  • 1) Analysis task (written): 30%
  • 2) Individual project (oral presentation): 60%
  • 3) Participation: 10%
Prerequisites for participation and waiting lists
  • Excellent written and spoken command of English equivalent to C1 on the Common European Framework
  • Participants should have good knowledge of English grammar and an interest in language and communication.

Please log in with your WU account to use all functionalities of read!t. For off-campus access to our licensed electronic resources, remember to activate your VPN connection connection. In case you encounter any technical problems or have questions regarding read!t, please feel free to contact the library at

Unit details
Unit Date Contents
1 1
  • Introduction to Corpus linguistics: Theories, methods, tools and software
  • Introduction to Conversation Analysis: How conversation works
2 2

Corpus Linguistics II: Frequency & Keywords

3 3

Conversation Analysis II: Adjacency pairs, Preference & Sequences

4 4

Corpus Linguistics III: Concordance & Collocation

5 5

Conversation Analysis  III: Repair & Conflict

6 6

Corpus Linguistics IV : N-grams/ Chunks/ Clusters

7 7

Student Presentations

Last edited: 2023-09-25