The FOCUS Project

About the project

The aim of this project is to enhance the student learning experience through the development of new resources and teaching activities to improve student understanding of subject specific language. This project will enable students to be better equipped with the literacy and independent learning skills in order to have the confidence to engage with the subject specific literature within their disciplines.

The objectives of this project are:

  • To produce a corpus of Durham University student writing in a representative range of subject areas;
  • To produce a bespoke concordancing tool to enable students to access the corpus texts using different activities to uncover how various language items are used within their discipline and across different disciplines;
  • To disseminate this work both within the University and at a national level.

About us

  • The FOCUS project was started in 2012 by Megan Bruce and Simon Rees (Durham University Foundation Centre).
  • The concordancing and activity software were developed by Steven Bradley (Durham University School of Engineering and Computing Sciences).

Project funding

We have received funding from a variety of sources including

With thanks...

... to all those who have contributed work to the corpus.

Encouraging student discourse through the development of a corpus for Foundation Year students

Login to access the tool (Durham users)

Screen shot of prototype tool

Concordance too screen shot