July #2, 2022 Newsletter

This is the second newsletter for July 2022.

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What is Academic Vocabulary?

New video on YouTube / Youku
Sheldon Smith
July 2022

Academic vocabulary can be especially challenging for learners, since it is more abstract and difficult than the general vocabulary they may be used to, and, in contrast to technical vocabulary, it is unlikely to be defined by subject teachers.

This video takes a close look at academic vocabulary, considering some important single word wordlists, including the Academic Word List (for receptive use) and the Academic Vocabulary List (for productive use), as well as multiword lists such as the Academic Collocation Lists, the Academic Formulas List, and the Discourse Connectors List.

It also explains the vocabulary shift that is required when transitioning from general to academic English, in other words recognising which words are and are not suitable for academic use, and academic alternatives of some general words, e.g.
  -  negative instead of bad
  -  state instead of say
  -  notion instead of idea

It also considers some general words with special meaning in academic contexts, e.g.
  -  discipline=subject of study
  -  population=all the people who can be included in a survey
  -  base=substance that reacts with an acid [Chemistry]
  -  bug=flaw in a computer program [Computer Science]

Bringing it all together is an example text, with the vocabulary analysed in terms of technical words, words from the AWL and AVL, academic formulas and collocations.

As always, there is a worksheet for use with the video.

Words from the AVL [first 500] highlighted in yellow
Collocations from the ACL highlighted in orange
Academic formulas from the AFL highlighted in cyan



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Sheldon Smith

Author: Sheldon Smith    ‖    Last modified: 04 September 2022.

Sheldon Smith is the founder and editor of EAPFoundation.com. He has been teaching English for Academic Purposes since 2004. Find out more about him in the about section and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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