Teaching & Learning Vocabulary on EnglishCentral
High Frequency Word Lists
EnglishCentral offers a series of high frequency vocabulary lists to help identify gaps in students’ knowledge in Core Vocabulary.
- Core Vocabulary is a set of 2800 words used most frequently in daily life. It covers ~92% of the English learners would see in newspapers, magazines, books, TV and movies. It is an updated version of what is commonly referred to as the General Service List (GSL) in the vocabulary field.
- Academic Vocabulary is for learners looking to master words that appear frequently in academic texts and lectures. When learned together with the Core Vocabulary 2800, this list gives ~92% coverage of typical academic materials used in universities in English-speaking countries. It is an updated version of what is commonly referred to as the Academic World List (AWL) in the vocabulary field.
- Business Vocabulary contains 1700 words for learners looking to master general business English situations. When learned in combination with the Core Vocabulary of 2800 words, this list provides ~97% coverage of the English needed in most general business situations.
- TOEIC Vocabulary contains 1200 words that appear most frequently in the texts and listening materials that appear on the TOEIC exam. When combined with Core Vocabulary 2800, this list provides ~99% coverage of words that appear on the TOEIC exam. This figure applies to the recent changes to the TOEIC® Listening and Reading test updates, which first appeared in Japan and Korea in May 2016, will be implemented in public test administrations worldwide, beginning in April 2018.
The Core Vocab Course is based on New General Service List (NGSL) developed by a team led by Dr. Charles Browne from Meiji Gakuin University. The origin of Core Vocab list is a 2-billion-word corpus developed by Cambridge University. Dr. Browne and his team analyzed the Cambridge University corpus to determine the core high-frequency vocabulary words for students of English as a second language.
We recommend that students complete all words in all units of the Core Vocab. Vocabulary Lists are divided into quizzes of 20 words, which take approximately 3 minutes per quiz, depending on the student’s level.
We recommend teachers assign one Unit each week for 100 new words per week, or about 20-30 minutes of study time per week. In a one year-program (28-week program), 100 words per week means about 3000 unique Words (Core Vocab, plus Academic Vocab or TOEIC) can be covered in the full year.
Our version of the NGSL level test is comprised of 140 items, 20 for each of five approximately 500-word bands of the Core Vocab and 20 for each of the two bands of the Academic Word List. It supports both an English version and bilingual versions for Japanese, Turkish, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish versions of the test. We recommend the bilingual version if it is available in the students native language. Try it out here:
We use a cumulative 90% correct threshold to determine the students “Vocab Level“, and then match students to one of 7 levels on EnglishCentral. These seven levels can be mapped to CEFR, TOEIC or TOEFL, etc. scores as follows:
Students however usually don’t master vocabulary — that is commit words to their long term memory or enable productive use of the word — with one exposure. Rather, multiple exposures are necessary over time in what we call Time Interval Learning.
The MyWords application is where the Time Interval Learning takes place on EnglishCentral. All words studied in Vocab Courses (such as Core Vocab, or Academic Vocab) — whether correctly or incorrectly answered — are added to MyWords, so students can study them over time.
Words are automatically ordered by “Ready to Study” based on the time interval learning algorithm.
Students can focus exclusively on words they got wrong from the assigned Course or from Learn Mode or Quiz Mode in Video Lessons. These “incorrect” words are automatically added to MyWords.
Students can also focus on words they have Favorited during their study of the vocab course or while doing Video Lessons. Favorited words are also automatically added to MyWords.
Students demonstrate “mastery” of a certain number of words during the course of their study on EnglishCentral using the Time Interval Learning System. Mastery requires 5 correct learns over different time intervals. The 5 time intervals set by the system are: 1 day, 3 day, 10 days and 30 days, and finally . . . mastery = !