Vocabulary and English for Specific Purposes Research - Averil Coxhead 2018
Middle School English grammar and writing list
Specialised vocabulary in secondary school/Middle School
Greene’s (2008) (see also Greene & Coxhead, 2015) vocabulary list for Middle School English grammar and writing was based on a corpus of 18 textbooks from Grades 6—8. The corpus contains nearly three million running words. There are 722 types in the Middle School English grammar and writing list, and 374 families. Examples of words from the Middle School English Grammar and Writing Vocabulary List (Greene & Coxhead, 2015) from the highest frequency include pronoun, phrase, adjective, paragraph, topic, adverb and clause. These lexical items are very specific to grammar and writing, and nod to the textbook nature of the source corpus for Greene’s study. Paragraph and topic are in Coxhead’s (2000) AWL. The list then continues with a mix of specialised and more general items: identify, chapter, compound, preposition, modify and predicate. The full list contains 722 word types in total, with 374 word families. Coverage of this word list over the English grammar and writing textbook corpus is 6.83%, and this fairly high coverage is sustained over a parallel corpus (6.08%). West’s GSL (1953) and the Middle School grammar and writing list combined cover 88.97% of the original grammar and writing corpus. The Greene list clearly reflects the narrow focus of English grammar and writing, and the high coverage of the GSL (compared to around 70%—75% over Coxhead’s AWL corpus) suggests that there is a lexical difference between textbooks for Middle School students and university-level texts.