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Words for what?: Contrasting university students' receptive and productive academic vocabulary needs
Chalmers University of Technology.
City Univ Hong Kong, Peoples Republic of China.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5299-8982
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8301-3960
2018 (English)In: English for specific purposes (New York, N.Y.), ISSN 0889-4906, E-ISSN 1873-1937, Vol. 50, p. 28-39Article in journal, Editorial material (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

With the objective of determining what academic vocabulary students use productively, and exploring the relationship between receptive and productive academic vocabulary, this paper continues the dialog on what constitutes academic vocabulary. By adopting a set of principled criteria (ratio, dispersion, discipline specificity and range) and by approximating the procedures from a recent study of academic vocabulary, the academic vocabulary found in students' writing is identified and subsequently compared to the academic vocabulary found in published academic writing (indexical of receptive purposes). Nearly 600 words emerge as being represented significantly more frequently in students' academic writing than in their non-academic writing, demonstrating that students distinguish in their writing between academic and non-academic vocabulary. Furthermore, the investigation finds significant differences between students' productive academic vocabulary and academic vocabulary serving receptive purposes, suggesting that students' productive and receptive academic vocabulary needs are far from identical. The findings reported here are intended to serve as a tool for EAP educators working to help students develop academic vocabulary fit for purpose, as well as an incentive for EAP researchers to continue to explore the nature of academic vocabulary. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018. Vol. 50, p. 28-39
Keywords [en]
Academic vocabulary, Receptive, Productive, Vocabulary list, Academic writing
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Humanities, English
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-76778DOI: 10.1016/j.esp.2017.11.002ISI: 000430758800003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85038250758OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-76778DiVA, id: diva2:1232349
Available from: 2018-07-11 Created: 2018-07-11 Last updated: 2019-08-29Bibliographically approved

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Pecorari, DianeShaw, Philip

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf