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 2015/05/31


The ICNALE-Spoken 1.0 has been released. See the download page.

What is The ICNALE?

The International Corpus Network of Asian Learners of English (ICNALE) is one of the largest learner corpora focusing on Asian leaners. The ICNALE-Written holds 1.3 M words of controlled essays written by 2,600 college students in 10 Asian countries and areas as well as 200 English Native Speakers. The ICNALE-Spoken and the ICNALE-Proofread, both of which are comparable to the ICNALE-Written, are now under construction.

The ICNALE is designed as a reliable database for international contrastive interlanguage analysis and it can also be used for studies of the World Englishes in Asia. The ICNALE has been compiled by Dr. Shin'ichiro Ishikawa of Kobe University, Japan in the research project 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. 22320104.2 (2010.4-2013.3) and No. 25284104 (2014.4-2016.3).

The Structure of the ICNALE (As of January, 2014)

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-Written
Country Code Country/ Area  Writers/Essays # of Tokens
Inner Circle 
 ENS* USA, UK, CAN, AUS, NZ  200/ 400 88,792 
Outer Circle
 HKG  Hong Kong 100/ 200  46,111
 PAK  Pakistan 200/ 400   93,100
 PHL  Philippines  200/ 400   96,586
 SIN  Singapore  200/ 400   96,733
Expanding Circle
 CHN  China  400/ 800  194,613 
 IDN  Indonesia 200/ 400   92,316 
 JPN  Japan 400/ 800  176,537 
 KOR  Korea 300/ 600  130,626 
 THA  Thailand   400/ 800  176,936 
 TWN  Taiwan  200/ 400  89,736 
Total --- 2,800/ 5,600 1,282,086*

         *1,306,660 tokens based on the word count by Wordsmith.

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-Written  The ICNALE-Spoken 
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  20 to 40 mins for one essay  60 second for one speech 
Length  200 to 300 words (+-10%)  Not controlled 
Dictionary use  No  No 
Spell-checker use  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 .

The ratio of L2 proficiency bands in the ICNALE-Written
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+ 
 HKG  1.0% 30.0% 52.0% 17.0%
 PAK  9.0% 45.5% 44.0% 1.5%
 PHL  1.0% 5.5% 88.0% 5.5%
 SIN  0.0% 0.0% 67.0% 33.0%
 CHN  12.5% 58.0% 26.3% 3.3%
 IDN  16.0% 41.0% 41.5% 1.5%
 JPN  38.5% 44.8% 12.3% 4.5%
 KOR  25.0% 20.3% 29.3% 25.3%
 THA  29.8% 44.8% 25.0% 0.5%
 TWN  14.5% 43.5% 30.5% 11.5%

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 (The ICNALE-Written)

In case of the ICNALE-Written, the ENS Module includes 400 essays written by 200 writers, who are subdivided into ENS1 (ENS_001-100) and ENS 2 (ENS_101-200). ENS 1 writers are college students, while ENS 2 writers are employed (the average age is 34.3). Countries included in the ENS module (ENS1 + ENS2) are USA (57.0%), United Kingdom (14.0%), Canada (14.0%), Australia (8.5%), and New Zealand (6.5%).  The ICNALE covers both of the British English and American English.

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, and Keywords Search. The other is the ICNALE for Download. You can download the whole data and analyze it with your favorite concordancer such as AntCoc or Wordsmith. The ICNALE-Spoken Baby is curently available only in the download version.

The ICNALE Online
The ICNALE for Download

The Int'l 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-Written Development Team

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

Indonesia --- Leonardi Lucky Kurniawan (Polytechnic of Ubaya, Surabaya)
Korea --- Sook Kyung Jung (Daejeon University) / Oryang Kwon (Seoul National University)

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

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

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)

The ICNALE-Spoken Development Team

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

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

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

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

KOR---Xinghua Liu, Kyong-Ae Yu (Chung-Ang University), Hye-Sook Kim (Konyang University)

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

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

SIN---Vincent Ooi (National Singapore University)

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

TWN---Ming Huei (John) Lin (Tamkang University)

Terms of 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.