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Article: Is there an academic vocabulary?
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TitleIs there an academic vocabulary?
 
AuthorsHyland, K1
Tse, P2
 
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
 
CitationTesol Quarterly, 2007, v. 41 n. 2, p. 235-253 [How to Cite?]
 
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.
 
ISSN0039-8322
2012 Impact Factor: 0.792
2012 SCImago Journal Rankings: 0.609
 
ReferencesReferences in Scopus
 
DC FieldValue
dc.contributor.authorHyland, K
 
dc.contributor.authorTse, P
 
dc.date.accessioned2010-12-23T08:47:34Z
 
dc.date.available2010-12-23T08:47:34Z
 
dc.date.issued2007
 
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.
 
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltext
 
dc.identifier.citationTesol Quarterly, 2007, v. 41 n. 2, p. 235-253 [How to Cite?]
 
dc.identifier.eissn1545-7249
 
dc.identifier.epage253
 
dc.identifier.issn0039-8322
2012 Impact Factor: 0.792
2012 SCImago Journal Rankings: 0.609
 
dc.identifier.issue2
 
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-34447545733
 
dc.identifier.spage235
 
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/130163
 
dc.identifier.volume41
 
dc.languageeng
 
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=1679
 
dc.publisher.placeUnited States
 
dc.relation.ispartofTESOL Quarterly
 
dc.relation.referencesReferences in Scopus
 
dc.titleIs there an academic vocabulary?
 
dc.typeArticle
 
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Author Affiliations
  1. University of London
  2. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology