NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ803947
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jun
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0346-251X
Identifying Technical Vocabulary
Chung, Teresa Mihwa; Nation, Paul
System: An International Journal of Educational Technology and Applied Linguistics, v32 n2 p251-263 Jun 2004
This study compared four different approaches to identifying technical words in an anatomy text. The first approach used a four step rating scale, and was used as the comparison for evaluating the other three approaches. It had a high degree of reliability. The least successful approach was that using clues provided by the writer such as labels in diagrams, typographical marking, and definitions. Using a technical dictionary was more successful, but had an accuracy rate around 80%. The fourth approach compared frequency of occurrence in the specialized text with frequency in a large more general corpus. This worked well, but failed to identify words like "neck, chest, skin" which were also in common usage. It also could not separate collocates of technical words ("superior, posterior, transverse") from technical words. If collocates are included the accuracy rate is close to 90%. Being able to reliably identify technical vocabulary provides an essential starting point for looking at how learners and teachers should deal with technical vocabulary. (Contains 1 figure and 6 tables.)
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A