Abstract

This article presents our new Academic Vocabulary List (AVL), derived from a 120-million-word academic subcorpus of the 425-million-word Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA; Davies 2012). We first explore reasons why a new academic core list is warranted, and why such a list is still needed in English language education. We also provide a detailed description of the large academic corpus from which the AVL was derived, as well as the robust frequency and dispersion statistics used to identify the AVL. Our concluding case studies show that the AVL discriminates between academic and other materials, and that it covers ∼14% of academic materials in both COCA (120 million+ words) and the British National Corpus (33 million+ words). The article concludes with a discussion of how the AVL can be used in settings where academic English is the focus of instruction. In this discussion, we introduce a new web-based interface that can be used to learn AVL words, and to identify and interact with AVL words in any text entered in the search window.

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