Multilingual Academic Corpus of Assignments – Writing & Speech (MACAWS)

Project Director: Shelley Staples, University of Arizona

Learner corpora can support exciting new SLA research and applications to language teaching. Although there are numerous learner corpora of English, less commonly taught languages still lack resources of this sort to support delivery of “high-quality, pedagogically sound, and cost effective instruction”. The MACAWS project has created a digital resource and online platform where researchers and instructors will have access to an online repository of students’ assignments (texts, spoken discourse, and multimedia products such as blogs) and pedagogical materials (e.g., syllabi, assignment sheets, lesson plans) from language programs at the University of Arizona, starting with Russian and Portuguese. Launched in September 2019, the MACAWS interface holds these and other resources, and is updated periodically.

The MACAWS website currently hosts recorded webinars that present and explain pedagogical materials in Portuguese and Russian that were created using MACAWS along with additional corpus-based language learning activities and information about our various presentations and workshops (including materials distributed there).

➤ In May, 2020, a live webinar explained how these resources can be used. Details about the webinar are here, including PPT slides and the recording.

➤ A second webinar took place in June, 2021. The recording and resources from that event are here: Soaring Higher with MACAWS: Integrating iDDL with Other Web Applications to Enhance Language Learning.


MACAWS was funded first by a CERCLL Faculty Fellow Research grant, and subsequently by CERCLL’s Title VI Language Resource Center grant and the University of Arizona’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.