Modals in Brazilian advanced EFL learners' compositions: A corpus-based investigation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Corpus Linguistics has become a major trend in Applied Linguistics since the second half of the 20th century due to computing facilities. Nowadays teachers can research and assess their students’ production by means of compiling learner corpora. This article describes how this technique was used to investigate the usage of modals in the writing of advanced EFL learners studying at private language schools in Brazil. When the research corpus is compared to the academic prose register studied by Biber et al. (1999), the divergence becomes apparent. The findings, thus, suggest that subjects write in a non-proficient way, which runs counter to previous expectations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-86
Number of pages10
JournalPROFILE Issues in Teachers' Professional Development
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Corpus linguistics
  • Learner corpus
  • Modals
  • Proficiency
  • Writing


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