Article published in:Approaches to learning, testing, and researching L2 vocabulary
Edited by Stuart Webb
[ITL - International Journal of Applied Linguistics 169:1] 2018
► pp. 44–71
A Hard Science Spoken Word List
A Hard Science Spoken Word List (HSWL) was developed and validated to help second language learners of hard sciences better comprehend academic speech at English-medium universities. It consists of the 1,595 most frequent and wide ranging word families in a 6.5-million running word hard science spoken corpus which represents 12 subjects across two equally-sized sub-corpora. Its coverage in different discourse types indicates that the HSWL truly reflects the language in hard science academic speech. The comparison between the HSWL with Dang, Coxhead, and Webb’s (2017) Academic Spoken Word List shows that the HSWL focuses more on specialized vocabulary in hard science speech. Depending on their vocabulary levels, learners may achieve 93%–96% coverage of hard science academic speech with knowledge of the HSWL words.
- 1.1Why do we need a specialized spoken wordlist for hard science students?
- 1.2How are existing wordlists for hard science students adaptable to learners’ proficiency?
- 1.3Research questions
- 2.1Developing the corpora
- 2.2Determining the unit of counting for the HSWL
- 2.3Developing and validating the HSWL
- 2.4Determining the potential coverage for different groups of learners
- 4.1The HSWL is a useful resource for hard science students
- 4.2Wordlists should suit the context
- 4.3Model of learning sequence for EAP learners
- 5.Limitations and future research
Published online: 16 April 2018
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