The Pattern Grammar framework (Hunston & Francis 2000) emerged out of the COBUILD project – a largescale and pioneering lexicographic analysis of English corpus data, conducted at the University of Birmingham. The research confirms that natural language is made up of recurrent patterns in which lexical and grammatical information is intertwined.
Pattern Grammar resources have been used as the starting point for a number of linguistics publications working within the framework of Construction Grammar, which also views lexis and grammar as inextricable – most recently Ellis et al. (2016).
Along with a growing interest in the theory of Construction Grammar and its pedagogic implications, there has been a strong movement towards the use of authentic materials and electronic corpora in the language classroom.
It is therefore an interesting time to explore the practical applications of Pattern Grammar, which can be defined as a corpus-driven, bottom-up approach to identifying a comprehensive database of linguistic constructions across English, working at different levels of schematicity.
Pattern Grammar resources have the potential to impact on the fields of language teaching, lexicography, and school literacy, and this has been demonstrated on several occasions by Professor Susan Hunston.
The project's impact activities are designed to facilitate professional engagement with Pattern Grammar research and to further develop Pattern Grammar resources. A new resource from HarperCollins - Collins Grammar Patterns Online - has made the Pattern Grammar research freely accessible.
The team works to assist teachers of English as a foreign/second language in incorporating Grammar Patterns in their teaching. They believe that using this information will facilitate the development of accuracy and fluency in learner English. The team also explores the use of Grammar Patterns in lexicography and literacy.