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Article: Is there an academic vocabulary?

TitleIs there an academic vocabulary?
Authors
Issue Date2007
PublisherTeachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/seccss.asp?CID=209&DID=1679
Citation
Tesol Quarterly, 2007, v. 41 n. 2, p. 235-253 How to Cite?
Abstract
This article considers the notion of academic vocabulary: the assumption that students of English for academic purposes (EAP) should study a core of high frequency words because they are common in an English academic register. We examine the value of the term by using Coxhead's (2000) Academic Word List (AWL) to explore the distribution of its 570 word families in a corpus of 3.3 million words from a range of academic disciplines and genres. The findings suggest that although the AWL covers 10.6% of the corpus, individual lexical items on the list often occur and behave in different ways across disciplines in terms of range, frequency, collocation, and meaning. This result suggests that the AWL might not be as general as it was intended to be and, more importantly, questions the widely held assumption that students need a single core vocabulary for academic study. We argue that the different practices and discourses of disciplinary communities undermine the usefulness of such lists and recommend that teachers help students develop a more restricted, discipline-based lexical repertoire.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/130163
ISSN
2013 Impact Factor: 1.000
2013 SCImago Journal Rankings: 0.919
References

 

Author Affiliations
  1. University of London
  2. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorHyland, Ken_HK
dc.contributor.authorTse, Pen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2010-12-23T08:47:34Z-
dc.date.available2010-12-23T08:47:34Z-
dc.date.issued2007en_HK
dc.identifier.citationTesol Quarterly, 2007, v. 41 n. 2, p. 235-253en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0039-8322en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/130163-
dc.description.abstractThis article considers the notion of academic vocabulary: the assumption that students of English for academic purposes (EAP) should study a core of high frequency words because they are common in an English academic register. We examine the value of the term by using Coxhead's (2000) Academic Word List (AWL) to explore the distribution of its 570 word families in a corpus of 3.3 million words from a range of academic disciplines and genres. The findings suggest that although the AWL covers 10.6% of the corpus, individual lexical items on the list often occur and behave in different ways across disciplines in terms of range, frequency, collocation, and meaning. This result suggests that the AWL might not be as general as it was intended to be and, more importantly, questions the widely held assumption that students need a single core vocabulary for academic study. We argue that the different practices and discourses of disciplinary communities undermine the usefulness of such lists and recommend that teachers help students develop a more restricted, discipline-based lexical repertoire.en_HK
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherTeachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/seccss.asp?CID=209&DID=1679en_HK
dc.relation.ispartofTESOL Quarterlyen_HK
dc.titleIs there an academic vocabulary?en_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.emailHyland, K:khyland@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityHyland, K=rp01133en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltexten_US
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-34447545733en_HK
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-34447545733&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume41en_HK
dc.identifier.issue2en_HK
dc.identifier.spage235en_HK
dc.identifier.epage253en_HK
dc.identifier.eissn1545-7249-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Statesen_HK

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