Corpus Linguistics: Focus on Academic Language is an online e-learning course that was created at LUL with seven sessions on how to use, analyze, and visualize corpus data, how to transcribe spoken dialogue, how to use online resources and software applications, and how to create customized corpora. The course includes videos, practical exercises, required readings, quizzes, and discussion fora.

In addition, I have worked in and am familiar with various e-learning environments (Moodle, Blackboard, Agora).


FUB = Freie Universität Berlin
EMA = Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald
LUL = Leuphana Universität Lüneburg
UHH = Universität Hamburg
UKS = Universität Kassel
UQ = The University of Queensland, Australia


At the core of all activities relating to teaching lies the idea of inductive knowledge transfer. For me this means that I integrate interactive tasks into classes to motivate students and that I try to create an environment which favors sustainable learning experiences. This approach is grounded in my experience with educational psychology which was the focus of my additional minor subject psychology that I completed successfully during my studies at Universität Kassel. In psychology, I focused on educational psychology and the psychology of learning and teaching more specifically. In fact, my engagement with students and the way I devise courses and classes is still very much influenced by educational psychology.

I have taught a wide variety of subjects at both intermediate and graduate level. My teaching experience thus encompasses lectures as well as a broad variety of university courses in English linguistics and workshops on statistics and corpus linguistics. In the hands-on and very practical workshops, students and researchers of all levels – from undergraduates to full professors, are shown how to retrieve, process, visualize, and statistically evaluate language and text data. I have taught in English as well as German used remote and online as well as face-to-face offline settings.

One aspect of my outlook on teaching is that I try to engage students by including practical tasks and the acquisition of applicable skills such as gaining command of computer software or basic programming skills. As such, I often make use of corpora in class and this approach has received very positive feedback from students as they are being actively involved in ongoing research.

In my courses, I make use of e-learning environments, software applications, screencasts which I provide on my YouTube channel CorpLingMS, and tutorials on linguistic issues which I provide as resources on my personal homepage (www.martinschweinberger.de). During my stay at the Leuphana Universität Lüneburg I developed the e-learning course Corpus Linguistics: Focus on Academic Language which consists of seven sessions and includes videos, practical exercises, required readings, quizzes, and discussion fora and aimed at enabling students to improve their English by applying corpus linguistic methods. Devising online materials accompanying my courses or creating fully fledged online courses would be one of the activities that I would like to put more emphasis on in the future as I believe that online materials are very well suited and match the needs of students’ expectations and university life.

During my previous and current employments at various universities I have supervised and co-supervised various BA-theses that have, for example, used corpus-based approaches to study discourse-pragmatic phenomena or investigated the linguistic expression of politeness, multilingualism, and language policy using questionnaires. I have also supervised MA-theses which resulted from my VowelChartProject and investigated L1-German production of English vowels and factors that impact target language proximity (e.g. stays abroad, age of learning onset, etc.). In addition, I served as a member of a PhD commission at the Freie Universität Berlin and was co-supervisor of a PhD dissertation which examines the difference between second and third language acquisition before moving to Australia.

To monitor students’ progress and assess whether students have thoroughly understood topics discussed in class, I typically provide worksheets and exercises for sessions that are prepared by students at home and are discussed in class or in tutorials accompanying my courses. I integrate innovative methods in my classes such as activity slots and short summaries to present the contents of journal articles or linguistic concepts. Short summaries contain the major aspects of journal papers in less than ten minutes instead of focusing on linguistic concepts. During activity slots, students create activities such as table quizzes, worksheets, group work, etc.

I encourage students to pursue their own empirical research and to adopt the design, format, style, and approach from established journals for their term papers and dissertations. I highly recommend empirically testing well defined hypotheses or replicating papers. While I personally find it particularly rewarding whenever students investigate topics that have not been thoroughly researched before and, thus, have the potential to uncover new insights, I also encourage students to replicate existing research (particularly in intermediate courses) as I strongly believe that replication of existing research – while being fundamentally important to our academic field – is not esteemed as highly as it should be.

Whenever possible, I have asked external institutions to evaluate my courses to receive feedback which I use to improve my style of teaching and to refine my skills as a teacher to create better courses each semester.

(last updated 2020/9/9)

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