Vocabulary and English for Specific Purposes Research - Averil Coxhead 2018
Specialised vocabulary research and the professions
This chapter has shown that there is some research on vocabulary in professional and occupational purposes areas, and it comes from several areas of Applied Linguistics research. For example, the medical communication studies involve discourse and grammatical features analysis, corpus linguistics techniques and ESP initiatives. The literature includes several large-scale studies, such as Nelson (n.d.) and Browne and Culligan (2016), where the results are shared in a number of ways which will help with replication studies, through freely available corpus tools such as AntConc (Anthony, 2016) and the Compleat Lexical Tutor (Cobb, n.d.). This means that users of the research are free to analyse their own corpora and compare results, for example. The Hong Kong Professional-Specific Corpora also allow for multiple studies to be carried out on the same corpora, as we have seen in the work of Li and Qian (2010), Cheng (2012) and Neufeld et al. (2011). Word lists feature in this area of specialised vocabulary research, but a great deal more is needed in terms of increasing the scope of the research to include corpora which reflect the needs of learners in professions and the language used in those professions. These corpus-based studies also need to consider what qualitative research might bring to bear on the data, particularly in terms of word choice and the identification of multi-word units and their functions. Chapter 8 focusses on vocabulary in another area of professional education: the trades.