Corpus linguistics and historiography

Finding the major discourses in the first 50 years of TESOL Quarterly


  • Tony Berber Sardinha Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo



Corpus Linguistics, Lexical Multi-Dimensional Analysis, Historiography, History of language teaching and learning


This study identified and tracked the major discourses present in the first 50 years of TESOL Quarterly. A corpus of articles published in the journal was collected, tagged, and analyzed for lexical dimensions of variation (the lexical parameters underlyingvariation across texts in the journal). A factor analysis detected the sets of lexical words cooccurring in the texts. The factors were interpreted into five dimensions: (1) critical, social, cultural, discourse or identity versus language assessment and testing; (2) applications of linguistic theory versus language policy, education and planning; (3) quantitative research methods versus positivist teaching materials and techniques; (4) language teaching and learning versus word-based investigations; and (5) reading and writing versus listening and speaking. The dimension scores were entered in a cluster analysis that identified the two principal eras of the journal: the first from 1967 to the early 1990s, and the second from the early 1990s to 2016.

Author Biography

  • Tony Berber Sardinha, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo

    Tony Berber Sardinha is Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo (PUCSP)


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How to Cite

Berber Sardinha, T. (2023). Corpus linguistics and historiography: Finding the major discourses in the first 50 years of TESOL Quarterly. Journal of Research Design and Statistics in Linguistics and Communication Science, 7(1), 69-90.