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ERIC Number: EJ1064623
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 53
ISSN: ISSN-1481-868X
The Lexical Breadth of Undergraduate Novice Level Writing Competency
Douglas, Scott Roy
Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics / Revue canadienne de linguistique appliquée, v16 n1 p152-170 2013
This study builds on previous work exploring reading and listening lexical thresholds (Nation, 2006; Laufer & Ravenhorst-Kalovski, 2010; Schmitt, Jiang, & Grabe, 2011) in order to investigate productive vocabulary targets that mark successful entry-level undergraduate writing. Papers that passed the Effective Writing Test (EWT) were chosen to create a corpus of novice university level writing (N = 120). Vocabulary profiles were generated, with results indicating the General Service List (GSL) and the Academic Word List (AWL) cover an average of 94% of a typical paper. Further analysis pointed to 3,000 word families and 5,000 word families covering 95% and 98% respectively of each paper. Low frequency lexical choices from beyond the 8,000 word family boundary accounted for only 0.6% coverage. These results support the frequency principle of vocabulary learning (Coxhead, 2006), and provide lexical targets for English for Academic Purposes (EAP) curriculum development and materials design.
Canadian Association of Applied Linguistics / Association Canadienne de Linguistique Appliquée. Departement de langues, linguistique et traduction, Pavillon de Koninck, Universite Laval, Quebec, QC G1K 7P4, Canada. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada