In my work with preservice ESL teachers, I’ve seen both native speakers and
international students find worksheets online that purport to teach students how to,
for example, invite, compliment, or disagree in English. I have observed my student
teachers give their students lists of expressions that most English speakers would
never say. One particularly glaring example on a website for teaching invitations was
“How do you fancy going to the restaurant for dinner?” One can only imagine the
reaction an ESL student would get if he or she used this expression, even in the UK.
Conversely, an ESL student may hear someone say, “How ‘bout havin’ lunch tomorrow?”
and not understand that this is an invitation. When students’ exposure is limited to
textbook language, they miss out on learning how language is used in real life. This is an interesting field of study in linguistics called "corpus linguistics". I, as a corpus linguist, have always involved my students with such materials but there are many points that should be considered. What are they?