1 1. Academic Word List An Introduction to the to recognise other family members such as maximised when you encounter them in your Academic Word List reading. These words are closely related and the meaning is likely to be the same or similar. When Averil Coxhead, Massey University, New Zealand you are looking for words in this dictionary, think about other word family members too. What is the Academic Word List? Finally, there are some Academic words that do not have a word family. These words occur The Academic Word List (AWL) is a list of 570 on their own and do not have any inflections. word families that are commonly found in Examples include nonetheless, so-called and Academic texts. This list was selected by behalf. examining a large corpus (or collection) of written Academic texts and selecting the words that occurred: Why is the AWL important? 1 In texts from all four Academic faculty The AWL is intended as a reference for students sections: Arts, Commerce, Law and Science.
2 Who are studying or preparing to study at a tertiary level in English. As a university lecturer, 2 Over 100 times in the corpus overall. I was aware of the difficulties that students had 3 At least 10 times in each Academic in mastering the vocabulary necessary for written faculty section. assignments. The AWL does not include content'. 4 Outside the 2000 most frequent words vocabulary for particular subjects which students on Michael West's General Service List obviously need to learn as well. The AWL focuses (GSL). The GSL includes everyday words instead on the non-subject-specific vocabulary such as I, house and do. that students of any discipline will need to master in order to produce coherently-structured written These principles ensured that only words that assignments. occurred reasonably frequently in a variety of study areas were selected. The AWL covers up to 10% of the vocabulary covered in written Academic texts. This means The AWL targets vocabulary that occurs most that, on average, one word in 10 in an Academic often in written Academic texts.
3 These words textbook is in the AWL. Look at the following also occur in newspapers but not as often as they extract from an Academic text: do in textbooks. The AWL words appear even less in fiction. If your focus is learning Academic EUROPEAN ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY. vocabulary, you need to make sure you read Academic textbooks so that you encounter these Environmental issues are truly global. words in context. Many of the problems, like the releasing of CFCs into the atmosphere, have global effects and require global action. Some How is the AWL organized? problems link to the exploitation of global The AWL is organized into Word Families. commons the resources shared by the Word families are made up of the parent word' international community such and family members'. Take for example the word as ocean beds and the atmosphere. maximise. Its family members include inflections Sometimes small local problems, such of the verb such as maximised, as poisonous gases leaking from landfills maximises and maximising as well as the noun and water pollution, are multiplied so maximum.
4 The word family also includes the many times in any local contexts that British spelling of the noun maximisation, as well they become major world hazards. The as maximization, the US spelling. environment is a global concern requiring global policies. If you learn the verb maximise, you will be able Academic Word List 2. The highlighted words are all on the AWL. phrases that are highlighted. These show you the This sample illustrates clearly that the AWL key grammatical patterns and collocations for can help with decisions about which words are that word. Collocations are words that commonly important for you to learn if you are studying in occur together or near each other in a text, for an English-speaking country. example effect on'. Collocations and phrases are important because they help with fluency in writing and indicate that you are working at a How can the AWL help me with higher level with Academic vocabulary than just my Academic studies? using a word from your own language and its Knowledge of Academic vocabulary is vital for translation.
5 The collocations in the following text students studying at an English-speaking have been highlighted in blue. university, particularly for reading and writing. DECLINING BIODIVERSITY. If you compare estimates of how many words a native English speaker might know by the age of Whatever the effects on this planet's 18 (approximately 18,000 to 20,000 words ) and climate, rain-forest clearance has another how many a learner who has had two or three undeniable impact. The disappearance of hours of schooling in English over rain forests is a major factor eroding the several years (roughly 2000 to 3000 words earth's biodiversity, or, more simply depending on the language background of the causing many thousands of species of plant and animal life to disappear forever. While student), this gap is enormous. In order to read rain forests account for just seven percent of and write successfully you need to be able to the earth's surface, they are home to almost recognize as many words as possible in your half of this planet's living species.
6 Estimates textbooks and use as many as possible in your of the total number of species of animals essays. The bigger your vocabulary, the more you and plants range from million to as high will be able to cope with the high reading and as 30 million. Researchers, in fact, have writing demands of your studies. identified more than 1,000 species of ants Academic writing tends to be quite formal in alone (Wilson, 1991). style. The vocabulary items that you use in your writing can affect the level of formality. Writers What strategies can I use to help need to know whether a word can be used in a learn the AWL words ? particular situation. Take for example consequent. This is marked as formal. You would probably Remember that building your vocabulary takes not choose to use this word when speaking with time. You are not likely to learn everything you friends but you should use it in written English to need to know about a word the very first time you take your language to a higher level of formality.
7 See it. And don't expect to remember everything The AWL will help you to focus on issues of about a word after looking it up in a dictionary formality. Look out for the formal label in this once. Try some of these ideas to help you with dictionary. vocabulary building: Remember that the AWL covers approximately Make the most of the information given in 10% of all vocabulary in a piece of Academic this dictionary to build up your knowledge of a writing. You should aim to have roughly the word. Look at the bold phrases highlighted in same percentage in your own Academic writing the entry. These show important grammatical too. If you go to the AWL highlighter website patterns and collocations. Learn these rather by Sandra Haywood ( than the word in isolation. ~alzsh3/ ) you Even if you think you already know' a word, can copy and paste your text into it and it will look it up in the dictionary to see if there is any highlight the AWL words for you. This will enable additional information that you don't know.
8 You to see how many AWL words you are using overall and whether you repeat the same words Research has shown that repetition helps many times in your writing. people to remember things. Make sure you build repetition into your learning. You could When looking up words from the AWL in this do this through using word cards to test dictionary you should also focus on the bold yourself or by keeping a vocabulary notebook. 3 Academic Word List Studying words actively' will help your How is the AWL shown in this dictionary? learning. People do learn words through The words on the AWL are marked with AC in this reading but the chances of remembering dictionary. vocabulary is higher when you focus on the words and make a conscious effort to learn The AWL does not include the 2000 most them. frequent words used in general everyday English. Look out for common collocations, phrases In this dictionary, however, the 3000 most frequent and grammatical patterns of words when you words in written English are also marked with W1.
9 W2 and W3 and the 3000 most frequent words in are reading Academic texts. spoken English are marked with S1 S2 and S3 . Work with the AWL alongside you when you In some cases, these overlap with the AWL. are writing. Try to use words from the list that are relevant to your writing. Averil Coxhead is a lecturer in English for Academic Purposes at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. She compiled the AWL in 2000. For further information on the AWL go to Averil's website at Acknowledgement: Extracts on the subject of European environmental policy and declining biodiversity are reproduced with permission from Sociology: A Global Introduction, third edition, by John J. Macionis and Ken Plummer, Pearson Education Limited 2005. Academic Word List The following is a list of the words from the Academic Word List that are highlighted in this dictionary. words shown in bold are one of the parent words '. abandon 1 v adjacent adj analogy n assist 1 v abandoned adj adjust v analyse v assistance n abnormal adj adjustment n analysis n assume v abstract 1 adj administration n analyst n assuming conj abstract 2 n administrative adj analytical adj assumption n abstract 3 v adult 1 n analyze v assurance n abstraction n adult 2 adj annual 1 adj assure v academic1 adj advocacy n anticipate v attach v Academic 2 n advocate 1 v anticipation n attachment n academy n advocate 2 n apparent adj attain v access 1 n affect v append v attainment n access 2 v aggregate 1 n appendix n attitude n accessible adj aggregate 2 adj appreciable adj attributable adj accommodate v aggregate 3 v appreciate v attribute 1 v accommodation n aid 1 n appreciation n attribute 2 n accompaniment n aid 2 v approach 1 v author 1 n accompany v albeit conj approach 2 n author 2 v accumulate v allocate v appropriate 1 adj authoritative adj accuracy n allocation n approximate 1 adj authority n accurate adj alter v
10 Approximate 2 v authorship n achieve v alteration n approximation n automate v achievement n alternate 1 adj arbitrary adj automated adj acknowledge v alternate 2 v area n automatic 1 adj acknowledgement n alternative 1 adj aspect n automatically adv acquire v alternative 2 n assemble v automation n acquisition n ambiguity n assembly n available adj adapt v ambiguous adj assess v aware adj adaptable adj amend v assessment n awareness n adaptation n amendment n assign v adequate adj analogous adj assignment n Academic Word List 4. behalf n comment 1 n conflict 2 v contribute v beneficial adj comment 2 v conform v contribution n beneficiary n commentary n conformation n contributor n benefit 1 n commentator n conformist adj controversial adj benefit 2 v commission 1 n conformity n controversy n bias 1 n commission 2 v consensus n convene v bias 2 v commit v consent 1 n convention n biased adj commitment n consent 2 v conventional adj bond 1 n committed adj consequence n converse 3 adj bond 2 v commodity n consequent adj conversely adv brevity n communicable adj consequently adv conversion n brief 1 adj communicate v considerable adj convert 1 v brief 2 n communication n considerably adv convertible 1 adj brief 3 v communicative adj consist v convince v briefing n community n consistency n convinced adj briefly adv compatibility n consistent adj convincing adj bulk 1 n compatible 1 adj constancy n cooperate v bulky adj compensate v constant 1 adj cooperation n compensation n constant 2 n cooperative