Handout Research Methods in Applied Linguistics

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How did the UK population talk about Mexico between 1970’s and 1993? Corpus analysis of the word ‘Mexico’ in the BNC, also with the word ‘Mexican’ as they are directly related. For this assignment I will use the BNC (found 1531 tokens for ‘Mexico’ and 680 for ‘Mexican’), where I will analyse how the UK talked about Mexico between the 1970’s and 1993. My major area of study is business, and I am interested in finding out how discourse analysis using corpora can be used in Marketing, but particularly in the marketing of Mexico in the UK. The UK is currently in 3rd place, following the United States of America and Canada, of the number of visitors (by air) to Mexico. However, the number of visitors from the UK is only 6% of the number of visitors from the United States of America. The Mexican government is concerned that the image of Mexico overseas is not being marketed well. After reading statements from the president of Mexico and articles about the new strategies to promote tourism to Mexico in the UK, there seem to be two main reasons why the tourism from the UK in Mexico has not grown: 1) the media have made people believe that the security situation in Mexico is worse than it actually is and 2) the distance and the costs of travelling to Mexico are too high. Looking at the statistics from 2008 to date, the number of visitors has not changed dramatically so I wonder if perhaps is not the distance and is not the way Mexico is marketed in the UK currently, but the way Britons have had Mexico portrayed to them throughout their lives (if we talk about the adults of today and the generation before them). So, with this research, I aim to find out if the image of Mexico that we are shown in the Media today in Britain is something new or if it is the image that has been present in the UK since the 1970’s. This type of analysis, and perhaps in a bigger scale, could be used to promote and market Mexico in the UK as it would show how people talk about the country and...
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