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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - CALLIDUS


Callidus is an interdisciplinary research project that delivers new methods of vocabulary acquisition in Latin. Its main purpose is to show the use of corpus-based methods in real teaching environments. Furthermore the project develops a software which is able to use linguistic research tools for creating corpus-based vocabulary exercises.

Vocabulary Acquisition in Latin using Corpus-based Methods

(Computer-Aided Language Learning: Lexikonerwerb im Lateinunterricht durch korpusgestützte Methoden)


In the CALLIDUS project three different departments are working together: the Computer- and Mediaservices, the Didactics of Latin and the Corpuslinguistics. Our common aim is to prove the usefulness of corpus-based methods for teaching Latin and to develop a digital tool as a prototype of corpus-based vocabulary acquisition.


The main research questions

  1. Are corpus-based methods really more supportive in vocabulary acquisition than other methods used for teaching foreign languages?
  2. What implications do corpus-based methods have for the development of tasks?
  3. How can we systematically obtain lexical information about (problematic) texts, esp. in order to use it for language acquisition?
  4. How can we reuse available corpora and search tools for use in schools?
  5. What are the criteria of a user-friendly software in a teaching/learning environment?


The status after the first year

On what we worked so far:

  • Linguistic terminology: What is a word? What are collexemes? What are collocations? ...
  • How to analyse a corpus (semi-)automatically? (POS-Tagging, Stemming, Relations, Test methods for collocations and semantic fields)
  • Language acquisition (in general and in Latin)
  • Task-based learning, design of corpus-based tasks
  • research design (DBR), intervention studies


Some of our milestones:

  • Pilot study in May/June 2018
  • First version of the software (called Machina Callida) (Aug. 2018)
  • Study: Vocabulary acquisition with beginners (Aug. 2018 until June 2019)
  • Vocabulary acquisition with intermediate learners (Oct. -Nov. 2018)


Proposed conference

Title: Digital Approaches to Teaching Historical Languages (DAtTeL)

28./29.3.2019, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin