ICNALE: The International Corpus Network of Asian Learners of English
A collection of controlled essays and speeches produced by learners of English in 10 countries and areas in Asia.
Project Leader: Dr. Shin'ichiro Ishikawa, Kobe University, Japan

Introduction to the ICNALE

Last updated 2016/10/16

The ICNALE-SW 1.1 has been released. See the download page.

What is The ICNALE?

   The International Corpus Network of Asian Learners of English (ICNALE) includes 1.8-million-words of controlled L2 English speeches and essays by 3,550 college students (incl. grad students) in ten countries and areas in Asia as well as L1 productions by 350 English native speakers. The total number of collected L1/L2 productions amounts to 10,000 (4,400 speeches + 5,600 essays.)

  The ICNALE is one of the largest learner corpora ever compiled and a reliable database for international contrastive interlanguage analysis.

  The ICNALE comprises two major modules: The ICNALE-Spoken and The ICNALE-Written. The Written module was completed in 2013, and the spoken module was completed in December, 2015. Two modules have been distributed together since October 2015.

  The ICNALE was developed by Dr. Shin'ichiro (Shin) Ishikawa of Kobe University, Japan. The project has been supported by the MEXT (Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture of Japan) / JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) No. 22320104 (from April 2010 to March 2013) and No. 25284104 (from April 2013 to March 2016).   

   If you have any questions or comments, or if you have written some article using the ICNALE (or a part of it), please contact Dr. Ishikawa (iskwshin@gmail.com).

Selected References

Ishikawa, S. (2014). Design of the ICNALE-Spoken: A new database for multi-modal contrastive interlanguage analysis. In S. Ishikawa (Ed.), Learner corpus studies in Asia and the world, 2 (pp. 63-76). Kobe, Japan: Kobe University.
Ishikawa, S. (2013). The ICNALE and sophisticated contrastive interlanguage analysis of Asian Learners of English. In S. Ishikawa (Ed.), Learner corpus studies in Asia and the world, 1 (pp. 91-118). Kobe, Japan: Kobe University.
Ishikawa, S. (2011). A new horizon in learner corpus studies: The aim of the ICNALE project. In G. Weir, S. Ishikawa, & K. Poonpon (Eds.), Corpora and language technologies in teaching, learning and research (pp.3-11). Glasgow, UK: University of Strathclyde Publishing.
Ishikawa, S. (2012). Beshikku Kopasu Gengogaku. Tokyo: Hitsuji Shobo. [Basic Corpus Linguistics].

Focus on Asian Learners

The ICNALE includes essays and speeches produced by EFL learners (China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand) and ESL users (Hong Kong, Singapore, Pakistan, Philippines) in Asia, as well as English native speakers (US, UK, Australia, etc.), covering all of the Inner, Outer, and Expanding Circles in Asia (Kachru, 1992).


Countries covered in Asia (Original map from UNESCO)
        The data collected in the ICNALE-SW1.1

Country Code Country/ Area  Speeches Essays
Inner Circle 
 ENS* USA, UK, CAN, AUS, NZ  600 400
Outer Circle
 HKG  Hong Kong 200  200
 PAK  Pakistan 400 400
 PHL  Philippines  400  400
 SIN  Singapore  200  400
Expanding Circle
 CHN  China  600  800
 IDN  Indonesia 400   400
 JPN  Japan 600  800
 KOR  Korea 400  600
 THA  Thailand   200  800
 TWN  Taiwan  400  400
Total --- 4,400 5,600


Control on the Conditions for L2 Production

In order to conduct a reliable contrastive study, we need to control varied factors potentially influencing the language of the essays (Adel, 2008). In the ICNALE, conditions for writing and speaking are controlled as strictly as possible.

The ICNALE-Spoken  The ICNALE-Written
Topics  Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Use reasons and specific details to support your claim

(A) It is important for college students to have a part time job.
(B) Smoking should be completely banned at all the restaurants in the country.
Time  60 second for one speech   20 to 40 mins for one essay
Length  Not controlled  (Speakers are required to speak as much as possible.) 200 to 300 words (+-10%)
Place  On the phone  At home or in class 
Dictionary use  No  No 
Spell-checker use  No Compulsory  

Control on L2 Proficiency of Participants

Another factor influencing L2 production is a learner's L2 proficiency. In the project, based on the participants' scores in the standard L2 proficiency tests such as TOEIC or TOEFL or in the standard vocabulary size test (VST) (Nation, & Begler, 2007), we classified participants' proficiencies into four levels: A2 (Waystage), B1_1 (Threshold: Lower), B1_2 (Threshold: Upper), and B2+ (Vantage or higher). These are identical with the levels proposed in the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference). The table below shows the percentage of participants of the ICNALE-Written at each proficiency level .

CFFR Levels of the NNS Participants in the ICNALE-Spoken

Country Code     Country/ Area      # of Participants     # of Speeches   CEFR-based L2 Proficiency Levels
      A2 B1_1 B1_2  B2+ 
TOEIC   -545 550+  670+  785+ 
TOEFL   -56 (486) 57 (487)+  72 (527)+  87 (567)+ 
 VST -24 25+  36+  47+ 
Inner Circle      
 ENS* USA, UK, CAN, AUS, NZ 150 600  --   N/A N/A  N/A  N/A 
Outer Circle     
 HKG  Hong Kong 50  200   -- 0.0% 2.0% 46.0% 52.0%
 PAK  Pakistan 59* 236*  -- 5.0% 6.0% 88.0% 1.0%
 PHL  Philippines  100  400   -- 0.0% 7.0% 81.0% 12.0%
 SIN  Singapore  50  200   -- 0.0% 0.0% 58.0% 42.0%
Expanding Circle     
 CHN  China  150 600   -- 9.3% 32.0% 52.0% 6.7%
 IDN  Indonesia 100  400   -- 26.0% 37.0% 34.0% 3.0%
 JPN  Japan 150  600   -- 20.0% 31.3% 28.7% 20.0%
 KOR  Korea 100  400   -- 6.0% 15.0% 43.0% 36.0%
 THA  Thailand   50  200   -- 4.0% 38.0% 50.0% 8.0%
 TWN  Taiwan  100  400   -- 17.0% 41.0% 25.0% 17.0%
Total --- 1,059 4,236  -- --  --  --  -- 
* PAK module is still under compilation.

CFFR Levels of the NNS Participants in the ICNALE-Written
Country Code     Country/ Area      # of Participants     # of Essays   CEFR-based L2 Proficiency Levels
      A2 B1_1 B1_2  B2+ 
TOEIC   -545 550+  670+  785+ 
TOEFL   -56 (486) 57 (487)+  72 (527)+  87 (567)+ 
 VST -24 25+  36+  47+ 
Inner Circle      
 ENS* USA, UK, CAN, AUS, NZ  200 400  --   N/A N/A  N/A  N/A 
Outer Circle     
 HKG  Hong Kong 100  200   -- 1.0% 30.0% 52.0% 17.0%
 PAK  Pakistan 200  400   -- 9.0% 45.5% 44.0% 1.5%
 PHL  Philippines  200  400   -- 1.0% 5.5% 88.0% 5.5%
 SIN  Singapore  200  400   -- 0.0% 0.0% 67.0% 33.0%
Expanding Circle     
 CHN  China  400  800   -- 12.5% 58.0% 26.3% 3.3%
 IDN  Indonesia 200  400   -- 16.0% 41.0% 41.5% 1.5%
 JPN  Japan 400  800   -- 38.5% 44.8% 12.3% 4.5%
 KOR  Korea 300  600   -- 25.0% 20.3% 29.3% 25.3%
 THA  Thailand   400  800   -- 29.8% 44.8% 25.0% 0.5%
 TWN  Taiwan  200  400   -- 14.5% 43.5% 30.5% 11.5%
Total --- 2,800 5,600  -- --  --  --  -- 

2014/6/19 Corrected typos in the threshold scores of the TOEFL. See the "About Data" page for detail.

Comparable NS Data

The ICNALE also includes the L1 production data by English native speakers. The same topics and the same conditions are given to learners and native speakers, which assures high reliability in NS-NNS contrastive studies.

The ratio of nationalities of native speakers

ENS are classified into three groups: College students (XX_1), TESOL teachers (XX_2), and Others (XX_3). It would be advisable to use XX_1 for the purpose of NS/NNS comparison.

How to Access The ICNALE

There are two ways for you to use the ICNALE. One is The ICNALE Online, where you can conduct KWIC Search, Collocation Search, Wordlist Search, Freq graph Search, and Keywords Search. The ICNALE Online (since Oct 2015) gives you access both to texts and audio files.  The other is the ICNALE for Download. You can download the whole data and analyze it with your favorite concordancer such as AntConc or Wordsmith.

The ICNALE Online
The ICNALE for Download

The International ICNALE Development Team

Project Leader --- Shin'ichiro Ishikawa (Kobe University)

Academic Advisers --- Masao Aikawa (Kyoto University of Foreign Studies), Ichiro Akano (Kyoto University of Foreign Studies), Kazuaki Goto (Setsunan University), Tetsuya Enokizono (Chukyo University), Hideo Masuda (Kyoto Instiute of Technology), Masamichi Mochizuki (Reitaku University), Yasumi Murata (Meijyo University), Hiroshi Shimatani (Kumamoto University), Masahiro Hori (Kumamoto Gakuen University)

The ICNALE-Spoken Development Team

China---Yuanwen Lu (Shanghai Jiao Tong University), LIU Rui (Jinggangshan University), Xinghua Liu (Shanghai Jiao Tong University), Enyu Feng (Southeast University, Chengxian College, Nanjin)

Hong Kong---WONG Suzanne Shu Shan (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Indonesia---Leonardi Lucky Kurniawan (Polytechnic of Ubaya, Surabaya), Prihantoro (Universitas Diponegoro), Hanung Triyoko (TAIN Salatiga)

Japan---Shin'ichiro Ishikawa (Kobe University)

Korea---Xinghua Liu, Kyong-Ae Yu (Chung-Ang University), Hye-Sook Kim (Konyang University), Paik Kyungsook, Eunbi Kwon (Hanyang Women's U)

Pakistan---Muhammad Asim Mahmood (Government College University), Moazzam Ali (University of Gujrat)

The Philippines---Mari Karen L. Gabinete (De La Salle University-Manila)

Singapore---Vincent Ooi (National Singapore University)

Taiwan (Chinese Taipei)---Ming Huei (John) Lin (Tamkang University)

Thailand---Penpitcha Prakaiborisuth (King Mongkut's University of Technology)

The ICNALE-Written Development Team

China --- Katsuki Mayumi (Dalian University of Technology), Fang Li (Wuhan University), Lu Yuanwen (School of Foreign Languages, Shanghai Jiaotong University)

Hong Kong --- John Milton (Hong Kong University of Science & Technology)

Indonesia --- Leonardi Lucky Kurniawan (Polytechnic of Ubaya, Surabaya)

Japan --- Shin'ichiro Ishikawa (Kobe University) / Yuka Ishikawa (Nagoya Institute of Technology)

Korea --- Sook Kyung Jung (Daejeon University) / Oryang Kwon (Seoul National University)

Pakistan --- Asim Mahmood (Government College University (GCU) Faisalabad)

The Philippines --- Karen L. Gabinete (De La Salle University-Manila)

Singapore --- Vincent Ooi (National Singapore University)

Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) --- Siaw-Fong Chung (National Chengchi University)

Thailand --- Sonthida Keyuravong / Punjaporn Pojanapunya (King Mongkut's University of Technology, Thonburi)

Terms and Conditions of Use

All the data and the information of the ICNALE is provided by the ICNALE Development Team. Before using it, please read the following Terms and Conditions of Use. You may use the data and the information of the ICNALE only when you agree to abide by them. Please note that all the data and the information of the ICNALE is provided for informational purposes only. Any rights concerning any and all content of the ICNALE belong to the the ICNALE Development Team. You are prohibited to reprint, copy, modify, publish, redistribute or commercially utilize any of the content, in part or in whole, without the prior consent.

(1) The ICNALE Development Team shall not be liable to the user for any trouble, damage or loss caused by his/her use of the ICNALE, regardless of the cause.
(2) The ICNALE Development Team takes utmost care not to make any errors or omissions in providing the data and the information of the ICNALE, however they may include inaccurate contents, typographical errors, or improper information. The ICNALE Development Team shall not be liable for any such inaccuracy, incompleteness, inadequacy and unfairness of the data and the information presented in the ICNALE.
(3) The ICNALE Development Team makes no warranty or representation regarding the accuracy, completeness, adequacy and fairness of the data and the information of the ICNALE.
(4) The data and the information of the ICNALE may be changed or modified without any prior notice, and the ICNALE Site may be discontinued or closed without any prior notice.
(5) The ICNALE Development Team shall not be liable for any loss caused by the modification of the data and the information and also by the discontinuation or closing of the ICNALE Site, regardless of the reason.