Academic and professional English vocabulary: Technicality, frequency, and word lists

Auditorium at Veröld - Vigdís' house 

The focus of this talk is research into specialised vocabulary in English for academic and professional purposes.  This vocabulary is important for learners and teachers because knowledge of this lexis signals membership of a community and understanding of content.  After all, as a Carpentry tutor reports in a study by Parkinson & MacKay (2016, p. 41),

I reckon like you know you look like a builder, you walk like a builder, you might as well talk like a builder, okay, you know what I mean, so you introduce that terminology quite quickly and that way we can get into the conversation. how builders talk … builders have their own sort of language. 

This talk will begin by looking at technical or specialised vocabulary, before moving on to discuss the importance on high frequency vocabulary in academic and professional written and spoken texts.  The final section of the talk looks at word lists for specific purposes and what they might offer teachers, learners and researchers.  The talk will draw on examples from university-level studies, the trades, Aviation, Health Communication and Nursing, and will finish with suggestions for future research.

Averil Coxhead researches vocabulary in English, with a particular focus on English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and English for Specific Purposes (ESP).  Her recent research has focused on vocabulary in teacher talk in an international school in Germany, technical vocabulary in the trades, and the development of academic vocabulary and overall vocabulary size in secondary schools in New Zealand. Averil is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.  Her new book is Vocabulary and English for Specific Purposes Research: Quantitative and qualitative perspectives (Routledge, September, 2017).

fim, 09/14/2017 - 16:30
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