Research has identified the importance of academic vocabulary (e.g., Corson, 1997; Gardner, 2013; Hsueh-chao & Nation, 2000). In turn, many researchers have focused on identifying the most frequent and salient words present in academic texts across registers and presenting these words in lists, such as The Academic Word List (AWL) (Coxhead, 2000). Gardner and Davies (2014), recognizing the limitations of the AWL, have developed a new list known as The Academic Vocabulary List (AVL). This present study examines the appearance of the 570 AWL word families and the top 570 AVL word families in the Academic Textbook Corpus (ATC) – a 1.9-million-word corpus created from three middle school, three high school, and three college level textbooks from the disciplines of American history, mathematics, and physical sciences. The study determined (1) word families from both the AWL and the AVL found in the ATC, (2) words families unique to the AWL in the ATC, (3) word families unique to the AVL in the ATC, and (4) characteristic differences between the AWL and AVL unique word families. The results suggest that the AWL and AVL capture high frequency academic word families that are salient across a variety of academic disciplines and grade levels, but the AVL provides a greater number of unique frequent core academic word families.
College and Department
Humanities; Linguistics and English Language
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Newman, Jacob Andrew, "A Corpus-Based Comparison of the Academic Word List and the Academic Vocabulary List" (2016). Theses and Dissertations. 6080.
AWL, AVL, academic vocabulary, corpus