Towards the establishment of an academic word list (AWL) for the abstract section of research articles

Nezam Zarei Chamani, Abdolreza Pazhakh, Alireza Jalilifar, Bahman Gorjian


Abstract-This study is a corpus-based lexical study that aims to explore the most frequently-used academic words in the abstract section of RAs in applied linguistics. The corpus consists of 2000 abstracts from ten scientific and prestigious journals, namely, applied linguistics, language learning, ELT journal, journal of pragmatics, system, journal of English for Specific Purposes, journal of English for Academic Purposes, studies in second language acquisition, TESOL Quarterly, Modern language journal which have been published between years 2000 and 2011. Using frequency and range as the criteria for word form selection, this study identified 600 AWL word forms that are used more than 14 times in the entire corpus and at least 5 times across the ten journals in the corpus. Results show that AWL words account for 15.35% of the entire corpus. Some of the AWL word forms in this study overlapped with word families included in Coxhead's AWL.


Academic word, applied linguistics, research articles, abstract section

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