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Creating an Academic Business English List: a Corpus Based Study

Title:

Creating an Academic Business English List: a Corpus Based Study

Stella, Stella Carolina (2015) Creating an Academic Business English List: a Corpus Based Study. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Past studies have shown that second language (L2) learners need to know between 95% to 98% of the vocabulary in a text in order to understand its content (e.g. Hirsh & Nation, 1992; Laufer, 1989; Laufer & Ravenhorst-Kalovski, 2010; Nation, 2006; Schmitt et al., 2011; Stæhr, 2008). Other studies tried to identify exactly what words these students need to know in order to achieve this level of comprehension, and researchers created frequency lists that could be used to teach vocabulary (e.g., Browne, Culligan, & Phillips, 2013; Nation, 2012; West 1953). However, as General English (GE) frequency lists are not very efficient for teaching specialized vocabulary, other lists were created in order to solve this issue (Coxhead, 2000; Hsu, 2011a; Konstantakis, 2007). This thesis study investigated the vocabulary needed by undergraduate students in business in order to understand their textbooks at this 95-98% level of text coverage. A corpus based on undergraduate business core courses textbooks was compiled by the researcher in order to extract a list of the most used vocabulary excluding the BNC/COCA 3K and proper nouns (which are considered to be already known by these learners). The Academic Business English List (ABEL) was created, and it consists of 840 word families which cover 2.86% of the ABEL corpus. With knowledge of these 840 word families, the BNC/COCA 3K and proper nouns, text coverage reached 96.94%. The ABEL list can be used by materials creators and business English teachers in order to prepare students for their undergraduate business programs.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Stella, Stella Carolina
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Applied Linguistics
Date:2 September 2015
Thesis Supervisor(s):Horst, Marlise and White, Joanna
Keywords:vocabulary, business English, reading and comprehension, frequency list, English for Specific Purposes (ESP), English for Occupational Purposes (EOP), English for Academic Purposes (EAP), corpus linguistics.
ID Code:980492
Deposited By: STELLA CAROLINA STELLA
Deposited On:26 Oct 2015 18:47
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:51

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