Luciana Forti

Luciana Forti

Researcher and Lecturer in Linguistics at the University for Foreigners of Perugia, Italy.

The title of Luciana's talk is Language learning and corpora in the journey through a PhD.


When I started my PhD, I was determined to investigate the potential of using corpora in Italian L2 pedagogy. More specifically, I wanted to conduct an empirical study to look into the effects of Data-driven learning (DDL) on the development of phraseological competence through time, work closely with learners enrolled in language courses at my university, and learn statistics. I was interested in considering variables that had received little attention in previous studies, such as semantic transparency and L1 influence, and I was particularly excited about working on a language other than English. However, I had very little clue as to how I would go about all this. So, I delved into the many methodological issues involved in researching a topic at the intersection between numerous fields such as the one I was committing to, and slowly sifted through the various stages of putting my thesis together. I was not alone in this process.

In this talk, I will show how the challenges I encountered throughout my PhD were the very things that created a number of valuable connections with many people: my supervisor, the peers and experts I met at conferences, the peers and experts I met during my research stays at UCLouvain and Lancaster University, the peers I met in various associations and groups that bring PhD candidates together, and the experts who, eventually, evaluated and discussed my work leading up to the final PhD defense. These are the people that I still feel surrounded, supported and inspired by today, as an early career researcher and lecturer. They defy the idea that a PhD is a lonely endeavour, although at times it may feel very lonely indeed. With this talk, I hope to demonstrate how rewarding doing a PhD combining language learning and corpora can be, also thanks to the people we meet along the way, whether life beyond the PhD is in academia or not.

About Luciana: 

Luciana obtained her PhD in 2019 with a thesis on Data-driven learning (DDL) effects and the uses of corpora for the development of phraseological competence in Italian L2. She teaches theories and research methods in second language acquisition and conducts research on DDL for Italian and within a research project on Italian L2 phraseological complexity measures.

Find out more about Luciana here, or meet her on Twitter here