Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 14. Number 2 June 2023 Pp.77-89
From Needs Analysis to the Establishment of a University Vocabulary List for English Majors
Department of Foreign Languages Teaching Methodology
Azerbaijan University of Languages
Received:12/27/2022 Accepted:04/28/2023 Published: 06/24/2023
This paper concerns the academic vocabulary needs of undergraduate English majors in a tertiary context in Azerbaijan. Based on the results of the previous studies, it is suggested that developing an appropriate course material to meet the specific learning needs of these students will be beneficial for them. Thus, this study aims to identify the percentage of the running words and high-frequency word families beyond the 2,000 most-frequent words in the university textbook corpus to help the students to attain 98% lexical coverage. To address English majors’ scant academic vocabulary knowledge, a University Vocabulary List has been created. First, a university textbook corpus comprising the words used in 11 subject-specific course textbooks across subject areas taught at Azerbaijan University of Languages was compiled. Next, the range and frequency distribution of the words beyond the British National Corpus scale 2,000-word families was examined. Finally, the 396 most frequently occurring word families in the corpus were chosen; these formed the proposed University Vocabulary List for English majors, accounting for a 6.96% lexical coverage. The University Vocabulary List for English majors and the British National Corpus 2,000 high-frequency word families, including proper nouns, provide a text coverage of 97.28%, which is only marginally lower than the suggested lexical threshold of 98% suggested by Laufer and Ravenhorst-Kalovski (2010) and Nation (2006). It is, therefore, argued that the University Vocabulary List represents a sufficiently frequent and relevant vocabulary load for English majors whose secondary educational background and first-year general English textbooks have not equipped them for the linguistic challenges they face at the initial stages of their tertiary education. The article concludes by stating the pedagogical implications for developing these learners’ knowledge and use of the most frequent word families.
Keywords: English majors, frequency, needs analysis, range, University Vocabulary List, vocabulary development
Cite as: Hajiyeva, K. (2023). From Needs Analysis to the Establishment of a University Vocabulary List for English Majors
Arab World English Journal, 14 (2) 77-89.
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