We expect you to be familiar with the high-frequency words; the Key Vocabulary course focuses on academic and technical; you don’t need to learn low frequency words, but you might need to look them up (or work out from context) if they seem key to understanding a particular text, etc.How to check types of vocabulary for yourself – next slide:
How to check for academic vocabulary - http://www4.caes.hku.hk/vocabulary/profile.htm to check frequent / awl vocabulary
Look it up using the website: look exclude chromosome bounceLook = (very) frequent; exclude = academic; chromosome = technical; bounce = rare
GLS = 75%-80% of a text; AWL = 10% of a text; another 5% or so = technicalNon-native speakers of English can do well in academic study, with a relatively small, but well-chosen vocabulary – at least in theory!
Coxhead’s aim to produce a list of useful academic vocabulary for university students
Each list has 60 word families, except sublist 10 which only has 30 = 570
UK and US spellings. Italicised word (analysis) is the most frequently occurring member of the family in the Academic Corpus.
The texts and lectures should not contain too many (more than 5%) new words…
Check the 2000 most frequent with the Vocabulary Profiler; list also available on uefap page (see websites at end)
Aims of Key VocabularyExtend knowledge of relevant vocabulary (general academicvocabulary + the specific/technical vocabulary of Humanities andSocial Sciences)Vocabulary development organised in separate strands:1. Key Vocabulary for Philosophy2. Key Vocabulary for Social Science3. Key Vocabulary for PsychologyVocabulary based on the reading /listening input provided in thePhilosophy/Social Science/Psychology coursesAnthony Elloway 2013
How does it work?Weekly classes introduce academic and subject-specific vocabulary:• Academic vocabulary organised by sublist(beginning with sublist 1 in week 1)• Subject-specific vocabulary organised byweekly topic (matching the weekly topics ofyour subjects)Anthony Elloway 2013
What should you do?• Learn / revise the vocabulary introduced in lessons• Learn / revise one sublist a week from the AcademicWord List (=60 word families a week for ten weeks)• Notice & record useful / frequent vocabulary youencounter (especially subject-specific)Anthony Elloway 2013
Anthony Elloway 2013Types of vocabularyThe 4 main types of words in academic texts:• high frequency (70-80% coverage of texts)• academic (10% coverage of texts)• technical (5-10% coverage of texts)• low frequency (very minimal role)
Types of vocabularylookexcludechromosomebounceAnthony Elloway 2013
Understanding a textWhat percentage of the words in a text do youneed to understand in order to understand thewhole text?Laufer (1992) suggests that, in order tounderstand a written text, 95% of the wordsmust be familiar to the reader. Below this levelthe text will become increasingly difficult.Anthony Elloway 2013
Academic vocabularyCoxhead (2000)To make a list of words beyond the first 2000words of English that would be important for allstudents wishing to proceed with academicstudy through English.Anthony Elloway 2013
Anthony Elloway 2013Academic Word ListCoxhead’s (2000) Academic Word List (AWL) =a list of 570 word families commonly found inacademic texts.This list was selected by examining a largecorpus (or collection) of written academic texts.
Anthony Elloway 2013Why is the AWL important?• The AWL = a reference for students who arestudying or preparing to study at an Englishmedium university• The AWL = focuses on the non-subject-specificvocabulary that students of any discipline willneed to master• If you are planning to continue your studies inEnglish, this list will help you
How is the AWL organised?SublistsThe AWL is divided into 10 sublists according tofrequency:• Sublist 1 has the most frequent• Sublist 10 has less frequent wordsAnthony Elloway 2013
Anthony Elloway 2013How is the AWL organised?TaskCan you guess which of the following 16 wordsare in?• Sublist 1 (very frequent)• Sublist 10 (less frequent)
Anthony Elloway 2013How is the AWL organised?adjacent area benefitdefine environment factorforthcoming integrity issue levynotwithstanding panelpersistent research so-calledvary
Anthony Elloway 2013How is the AWL organised?Sublist 1area benefit define environment factor issueresearch varySublist 10adjacent forthcoming integrity levynotwithstanding panel persistent so-called
Anthony Elloway 2013How is the AWL organised?Word FamiliesThe AWL is also organised into Word Families.Word families are made up of the ‘parent’ (orheadword) and ‘family members’.
Anthony Elloway 2013How is the AWL organised?If you learn the word ‘analyse’, you will beable to recognise other family members suchas ‘analysis’ when you encounter them in yourreading. These words are closely related andthe meaning is likely to be the same or similar.
Anthony Elloway 2013How is the AWL organised?TaskFor the headword analyse, how many familymembers can you name?
Anthony Elloway 2013How is the AWL organised?Headword: analyseFamily members:analysed analyser analysers analyses analysinganalysis analyst analysts analytic analyticalanalytically analyze analyzed analyzesanalyzing
Anthony Elloway 2013What strategies can you use to helplearn the AWL words?• Building your vocabulary takes time• You are not likely to learn everything you needto know about a word the very first time yousee it• Don’t expect to remember everything about aword after looking it up in a dictionary once
Anthony Elloway 2013What strategies can you use to helplearn the AWL words?So…• Read academic texts; listen to academic lectures anddiscussions• Speak in academic discussions and write academictexts using academic vocabulary
Anthony Elloway 2013What strategies can you use to helplearn the AWL words?Learning from lists• Start with sublist 1 - most frequent• Don’t start with all the ‘A’ words - work down the list withwords that don’t resemble each other and are not related inmeaning• Check the list for words found in the texts you read - if theyare in the AWL, learn them• Directly study words from the list using word cards and doingintensive study of short academic texts
What strategies can you use to helplearn the AWL words?Dictionaries• Make the most of the information given inyour dictionary to build up your knowledge ofa word (including grammatical patterns /collocations)• Even if you think you know a word, look it upin your dictionary to see if there is anyadditional informationAnthony Elloway 2013
What strategies can you use to helplearn the AWL words?Studying ‘actively’• Studying words actively will help your learning• People do learn words through reading, the chances ofremembering vocabulary is higher when you focus on thewords and make a conscious effort to learn them• Focus on retrieving words rather than recognizing them.• Process words thoughtfully; make associations; think ofsituational contexts in which to use themAnthony Elloway 2013
Anthony Elloway 2013What strategies can you use to helplearn the AWL words?Repetition• Research shows that repetition helps peopleto remember things, so build repetition intoyour learning• You could use word cards to test yourself• You could keep a vocabulary notebook
Anthony Elloway 2013What strategies can you use to helplearn the AWL words?Reading• Try to notice academic words in your reading• Look out for common collocations, phrasesand grammatical patterns of words when youare reading academic texts
Anthony Elloway 2013What strategies can you use to helplearn the AWL words?Writing• Work with the AWL alongside you when youare writing• Try to use words from the list that are relevantto your writing
Assessment• Test of academic vocabulary (based on theAcademic Word List)&• Test of subject-specific vocabulary(philosophy / social sciences / psychology)Anthony Elloway 2013