AWL Words on this page from the academic word list

Show AWL words on this page.

Show sorted lists of these words.



  Twitter Facebook Linkedin
YouTube youku RSS iTunes Spotify Google Podcast PodoMatic Patreon Pinterest
Donate
Dictionary Look it up

Any words you don't know? Use the website's built-in dictionary to look them up!

loading


Choose a dictionary.
 Wordnet
 OPTED
 both









Secondary School Vocabulary Lists (SVL) Common technical words in 8 secondary school disciplines

This page describes the Secondary School Vocabulary Lists (SVL), giving information on what the SVL is, how it differs from other lists, how it was developed, as well as a complete list of words in the SVL.



What is the SVL?

The Secondary School Vocabulary Lists (SVL) is a series of lists of discipline-specific (i.e. technical) words for secondary school education, covering eight core subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Economics, English, Geology, History, Mathematics, and Physics. It was developed in 2018 by Clarence Green and James Lambert, working at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Although technical in nature, the list was devised using methods similar to those used to create the Academic Vocabulary List (AVL) and the Medical Academic Vocabulary List (MAVL), which are lemma-based lists which consider measures such as range and dispersion along with word frequency. The SVL is designed to help students in secondary schools improve their disciplinary literacy.


The SVL does not present a single list. Rather, it comprises three different types of word list for eight different subjects, and therefore presents 24 lists in total. The three different types of word list are as follows:

  • Lemma lists. These lists sort words by frequency, and contain only lemmas, i.e. words and inflected forms.
  • Word family lists. These lists contain full word families, again sorted by frequency (total frequency of all words in the family).
  • Collocation lists. These lists give words which are frequently associated with the SVL words, the most common 10 word associations for each.

The main lists are the lemma lists, which are similar in nature to the AVL and MAVL. This presents 880 words for Biology, 519 for Chemistry, 477 for Economics, 702 for Geography, 253 for Mathematics, 715 for History, 546 for Physics, and 686 for English.


The word family lists, which are broadly similar to the AWL and MAWL, differ from those lists in that frequency for all individual words in the family is given, allowing students (and teachers) to prioritise more frequent word forms.


The collocation lists present word associations, giving related concepts, synonyms, antonyms and hyponyms (i.e. words contained in other category words), rather than true lexical collocations. The authors found that some words only had a few collocates, while others had more than 100, and they therefore limited the number of collocates to 10 for each word. The authors recommend using these word associations in activities such as mind maps, word searches and spelling lists.

How does the SVL compare to other lists?

The SVL differs from other lists in several ways.


One difference, already noted above, is that the SVL comprises multiple lists for multiple subjects, rather than presenting a single list.


The SVL is also unique in that it draws on the methodology for creating word lists used by compilers of academic word lists for university study, and applies it to the creation of a list intended for secondary school students, who are therefore pre-university age.


The SVL contrasts with another set of technical lists for school-age students, the Middle School Vocabulary Lists created by Greene and Coxhead in 2015. Those lists, which covers five content areas (English, Health, Mathematics, Science, and Social Science/History), are intended for younger students, in grades 6 to 8 (approximately 11 to 14 years old). The Middle School Vocabulary Lists also differ from the SVL in that they were designed in a similar way to the AWL, using word families and excluding words from the GSL. The authors note the problems of excluding general words, in particular that important words with both general and subject-specific meaning may be overlooked. They give the example of set in mathematics, a general word which has a technical meaning, as shown by collocations such as empty set, universal set, and ordered set.


How was the SVL developed?

The SVL was developed from a corpus of secondary school textbooks, most published within five years of the creation of the list. The texts were taken from the Ministry of Education (Singapore) list of approved text books, all published in either Singapore or the UK, as well as A-level/O-level syllabi documents from the United Kingdom and Singapore. Some additional O-Level and A-level texts were sampled in order to reach the desired word count. In total, the corpus consisted of 206 textbooks, containing approximately 16.25 million words.


The main version of the SVL is lemma-based. As noted above, selection methods for words in the SVL were similar to those used to derive the AVL by Gardner and Davies and the MAVL by Lei and Liu. Specifically, the following six criteria were used. These were the only criteria; there was no subsequently vetting of the lists.

  • Minimum frequency. Words needed to occur at least 28.57 times per million words.
  • Range. Words needed to occur at least in at least 50% of the texts for the relevant discipline.
  • Dispersion. Words needed to be evenly distributed throughout the corpora.
  • Range Ratio. Words needed to occur with 20% of their minimum frequency in more than 50% of texts.
  • Frequency Ratio/Keyness. Words needed to occur 3 times more often in the discipline than in the rest of the corpus.
  • Major Part of Speech. Only nouns, verb, adjectives and adverb were included.


References

Green, C. and Lambert, J. (2018) ‘Advancing disciplinary literacy through English for academic purposes: Discipline-specific wordlists, collocations and word families for eight secondary subjects’, Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 35 (2018) 105-115. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1475158518302157.


Secondary School Vocabulary Lists (SVL)

The following list gives the 880 words in the Biology list (lemma version), sorted by frequency.


List is lemmas


List sorted by frequency


Biology


Rank Word Part of speech Frequency (per million words)
1celln11982
2bloodn6125
3plantn3809
4enzymen2971
5moleculen2844
6genen2762
7dnan2700
8proteinn2515
9bodyn2410
10glucosen2332
11concentrationn2279
12organismn2070
13containv2062
14chromosomen2059
15oxygenn2057
16membranen2039
17structuren2020
18carbonn1984
19musclen1629
20allelen1577
21leafn1523
22dioxiden1516
23tissuen1448
24substancen1433
25aminon1364
26walln1342
27carryv1312
28photosynthesisn1278
29animaln1193
30tuben1183
31speciesn1146
32potentialn1143
33bacteriumn1131
34geneticadj1105
35respirationn1046
36heartn1043
37lightn1037
38nucleusn1030
39humanadj995
40neuronen975
41rootn960
42diseasen914
43chainn912
44hormonen908
45activeadj905
46transportn902
47sugarn880
48vesseln878
49releasev857
50gameten838
51normaladj830
52stagen804
53lungn803
54genotypen787
55sequencen771
56testn766
57enterv762
58cyclen750
59flowern741
60substraten735
61parentn735
62arteryn733
63insulinn733
64capillaryn708
65offspringn690
66fluidn684
67glandn683
68controlv673
69diffusionn667
70veinn658
71organn657
72preventv657
73stemn654
74nerven651
75hairn648
76xylemn642
77kidneyn632
78meiosisn626
79siten626
80fatn625
81mutationn617
82colourn613
83variationn609
84transportv607
85receptorn604
86impulsen574
87mrnan569
88absorbv566
89cytoplasmn561
90plasman556
91pollenn554
92starchn553
93phenotypen548
94skinn545
95transpirationn544
96spermn542
97humann537
98secretev532
99bindv524
100carbohydraten522
101rnan521
102responsen519
103convertv511
104eyen511
105diffusev508
106mitosisn507
107antibodyn502
108divisionn502
109osmosisn501
110individualn489
111ventriclen488
112polypeptiden483
113layern481
114chloroplastn477
115nucleotiden474
116presentadj473
117characteristicn471
118seedn471
119recessiveadj468
120sucrosen468
121strandn463
122virusn445
123maintainv444
124presencen441
125haemoglobinn440
126mitochondrionn439
127stoman432
128eggn432
129brainn430
130generationn429
131dominantadj426
132mineraln426
133urinen421
134selectionn419
135livingadj412
136urean411
137nutrientn403
138glycogenn400
139fertilisationn395
140stimulatev392
141intensityn386
142phloemn378
143intestinen375
144fibren373
145synthesisn369
146valven368
147digestionn366
148grainn366
149nervousadj363
150phosphaten362
151maleadj362
152fattyadj361
153alveolusn360
154plasmidn356
155coden354
156greenadj354
157daughtern349
158involvedadj346
159stimulusn344
160geneticallyadv343
161wasten335
162femaleadj333
163reproductionn329
164crossv327
165insectn326
166cancern324
167atriumn320
168identicaladj320
169attachv319
170permeableadj315
171ovaryn314
172homologousadj313
173spinaladj313
174embryon312
175thinadj308
176transcriptionn308
177absorptionn303
178chromatidn301
179storev301
180drugn299
181antigenn295
182chlorophylln295
183relaxv291
184stomachn290
185pulmonaryadj289
186sexn289
187axonn288
188cordn288
189chancen284
190tubulen283
191chemicaln282
192contentn279
193labelv278
194ecosystemn277
195pigmentn276
196mothern275
197sensoryadj272
198mechanismn271
199mesophylln271
200homozygousadj271
201pollinationn270
202patientn269
203metabolicadj266
204thickadj266
205amylasen265
206copyn265
207complementaryadj264
208stigman264
209aerobicadj263
210trophicadj261
211crossn260
212antibioticn255
213pancreasn255
214traitn255
215dialysisn255
216digestv255
217ribosomen254
218replicationn254
219surroundv254
220apparatusn250
221treatmentn249
222heterozygousadj248
223transmitv242
224malen240
225arteriolen239
226effectorn238
227continuousadj235
228guardn234
229fragmentn232
230potaton232
231contractionn231
232infectionn231
233anaerobicadj231
234survivev230
235bacterialadj229
236uterusn229
237renaladj228
238optimumadj228
239folliclen226
240reproductiveadj225
241femalen224
242pyramidn222
243biologicaladj221
244pathwayn217
245detectv215
246prophasen214
247pupiln214
248sexualadj214
249codonn213
250secretionn212
251vesiclen212
252immuneadj211
253lymphocyten211
254haploidadj209
255mammaln209
256epidermisn208
257milkn208
258ovumn207
259catalysev205
260hivn205
261codev204
262sunlightn204
263ductn203
264storagen203
265restrictionn203
266diabetesn202
267metaphasen198
268respiratoryadj197
269glucagonn197
270liningn196
271inneradj196
272polymerasen195
273sweatn195
274carriern194
275fruitn194
276biologyn192
277capillaryadj192
278reflexadj192
279diploidadj189
280tubingn186
281sapn186
282transmissionn186
283zygoten185
284anaphasen184
285uptaken183
286contractv183
287regulatev183
288habitatn182
289muscularadj182
290pathogenn181
291sieven181
292cavityn181
293cellularadj181
294smoken180
295synapsen179
296releasen178
297spindlen178
298resistantadj177
299bilen177
300filamentn175
301endoplasmicadj174
302retinan174
303bloodstreamn173
304oestrogenn172
305anthern171
306smoothadj171
307progesteronen170
308glyceroln170
309trnan170
310envelopen169
311multipleadj169
312structuredadj169
313mousen168
314breakdownn167
315bladdern166
316breathev166
317removaln166
318inheritv166
319reproducev166
320aortan164
321lumenn164
322thyminen164
323breedingn164
324juicen164
325maltosen163
326synthesisev163
327complexn162
328talladj162
329absentadj162
330centriolen161
331selectiveadj161
332insertv160
333capsulen160
334dietn160
335pumpv159
336birdn159
337inheritancen159
338placentan159
339circulationn158
340microorganismn158
341canaln157
342healthyadj157
343ovulationn156
344surroundingadj156
345translationn156
346partiallyadv155
347tailn155
348digestiveadj155
349feedbackn155
350adrenalinen154
351breathingn154
352sewagen154
353excretionn153
354menstrualadj152
355absencen151
356cytosinen151
357coronaryadj150
358lactosen150
359coatn150
360endocrineadj150
361brownadj149
362soluten148
363bubblen148
364darkadj148
365fetusn147
366nephronn147
367villusn146
368eukaryoticadj145
369mucusn145
370reabsorbv145
371adhn144
372hepaticadj144
373purpleadj144
374alimentaryadj144
375centromeren144
376trachean143
377genomen141
378shootn141
379templaten141
380recombinantadj139
381linev138
382bonen137
383lacticadj136
384stripn136
385deadadj135
386harmfuladj135
387limitingadj135
388nitrogenousadj135
389mouthn135
390fatadj134
391sacn134
392fungusn134
393irisn134
394pumpn134
395distilledadj133
396fusev133
397ribosomeadj133
398biomassn132
399evolutionn132
400trapv132
401activatev132
402diaphragmn132
403pepsinn132
404poren132
405therapyn131
406activationn131
407vitaminn131
408homeostasisn130
409uterineadj130
410colouredadj129
411ovulen129
412vascularadj129
413hypothalamusn128
414stickyadj128
415telophasen127
416cardiacadj127
417yeastn127
418adaptationn126
419chromatinn126
420petaln126
421functionv125
422helixn125
423reducedadj125
424intercostaladj124
425nucleolusn124
426cholesteroln123
427dissolvedadj123
428peptiden123
429sicklen123
430processv122
431testisn122
432adeninen121
433denaturev121
434loopn121
435tripletn120
436cortexn118
437pituitaryadj118
438metabolismn118
439pancreaticadj118
440shapedadj117
441glomerulusn117
442parentaladj117
443viraladj117
444artificialadj116
445grassn116
446oxygenatedadj115
447sistern115
448synapticadj114
449epithelialadj114
450experimentaladj114
451furn114
452clotv113
453medullan112
454roughadj112
455bundlen111
456donorn111
457humidityn111
458replicatev111
459survivaln111
460anaemian110
461excretoryadj110
462palisaden110
463venan110
464decomposern110
465fibrosisn110
466guaninen110
467phospholipidadj110
468bronchusn108
469interphasen108
470pean108
471diversityn108
472modifiedadj107
473salivaryadj107
474specialisedadj107
475excretev107
476inhibitv107
477phagocyten107
478urethran106
479excessiveadj105
480spongyadj105
481reflexn105
482toxinn104
483fusionn103
484umbilicaladj103
485webn103
486inorganicadj102
487biodiversityn102
488epitheliumn102
489hydrophobicadj102
490salivan102
491cysticadj101
492intaken101
493bathn100
494deoxygenatedadj100
495convolutedadj100
496epidermaladj100
497modifyv100
498greyadj99
499accumulatev99
500corpusn99
501infectv99
502insecticiden98
503vaginan98
504chambern98
505toxicadj97
506asexualadj97
507passiveadj96
508polynucleotiden95
509reabsorptionn95
510clotn95
511matureadj95
512respirev95
513luteumadj94
514numerousadj94
515menstruationn93
516protoplasmn93
517geln93
518discontinuousadj92
519filtraten92
520turgidadj92
521locusn92
522noden91
523viskingadj91
524blockv90
525messengern90
526rabbitn90
527nutritionn90
528predatorn90
529ileumn89
530facilitatev89
531sheathn89
532breedv88
533labelledadj88
534lipasen88
535neurotransmittern88
536strainn88
537syndromen88
538translocationn88
539visionn87
540pregnancyn87
541bronchiolen86
542bilayern85
543floweringadj85
544maizen85
545prokaryoticadj85
546recipientn85
547pairingn84
548ribn84
549infectedadj84
550portaln84
551digestedadj83
552fructosen83
553hydrolysev82
554proteasen82
555uretern82
556mammalianadj82
557nucleicadj81
558stamenn81
559phenotypicadj81
560lipidadj79
561proximaladj79
562adrenaladj78
563burstv78
564cytokinesisn78
565germinationn78
566inactiveadj78
567myelinn78
568dwarfn77
569fermentern77
570oviductn77
571permeabilityn77
572cuticlen76
573disordern76
574specimenn76
575transgenicadj76
576activelyadv75
577ultrafiltrationn75
578lunaradj75
579breathn74
580intestinaladj74
581ventricularadj74
582mutantn73
583wildadj73
584ciliaryadj73
585strandedadj73
586cyclicadj72
587radialadj72
588relayn72
589classificationn72
590limbn72
591tobaccon72
592urinaryadj71
593carbonadj71
594pesticiden71
595aquaticadj70
596gutn70
597implantationn70
598sliden70
599bindingadj70
600gastricadj70
601dominancen69
602catn69
603enclosev69
604herbivoren69
605legn69
606nicotinen69
607pairv69
608deficiencyn68
609nectarn68
610agarn68
611caterpillarn68
612oesophagusn68
613oxyhaemoglobinn68
614pestn68
615photosyntheticadj68
616semenn68
617amnioticadj67
618foldv67
619phagocytosisn67
620distaladj67
621earn67
622germinatev67
623preyn67
624budn66
625vigorousadj66
626assortmentn66
627chronicadj66
628fermentationn65
629osmoticadj65
630ligamentn65
631ligninn65
632marrown65
633pilln65
634ethicaladj64
635repairn64
636skeletaladj64
637sweatv64
638thoracicadj64
639carnivoren64
640fertilisev64
641glomerularadj64
642peristalsisn64
643ddtn63
644haemophilian63
645maturev63
646flaccidadj63
647thickenv63
648cown62
649deoxyribosen62
650deaminationn62
651pinkadj62
652maternaladj61
653linkedadj60
654hormonaladj60
655systolen60
656hybridn59
657trypsinn59
658breastn59
659observedadj59
660intercoursen58
661mothn58
662parasiten58
663backflown58
664ligasen58
665lymphn58
666multicellularadj58
667somaticadj58
668suspensoryadj58
669wiltv58
670fixationn57
671insertionn57
672stimulatingadj57
673voluntaryadj57
674dorsaladj57
675fibrousadj57
676abnormaladj56
677biochemicaladj56
678coilv56
679involuntaryadj56
680lactaten56
681mellitusn56
682onionn56
683dimadj55
684bicuspidadj55
685renninn55
686anticodonn54
687blindadj54
688downn54
689endometriumn53
690alveolaradj52
691intercellularadj52
692regulatoryadj52
693storedadj52
694turgorn52
695bronchitisn51
696proben51
697jellyn51
698penisn51
699afferentadj50
700exhaledadj50
701inhalationn50
702insideadv50
703erectorn50
704suspensionn50
705uraciln50
706coordinationn49
707embryonicadj49
708pubertyn49
709transparentadj49
710backbonen49
711biuretn49
712branchv49
713injectionn49
714snaken49
715insiden48
716mitoticadj48
717osmoregulationn48
718selectivelyadv48
719acceptorn48
720fibrinogenn48
721heartbeatn48
722lymphaticadj48
723pollinatedadj48
724boiledadj47
725cloudyadj47
726endotheliumn47
727exhalationn47
728hypotonicadj47
729pulln47
730tonguen47
731fertilisedadj47
732galactosen47
733efferentadj46
734untreatedadj46
735decreasedadj46
736diastolen46
737uncontrolledadj46
738abioticadj45
739atherosclerosisn45
740carbonicadj45
741damagedadj45
742sexuallyadv45
743dendriten44
744regulatorn44
745dilatev44
746homeostaticadj44
747testosteronen44
748blindnessn43
749graafianadj43
750systemicadj43
751carpeln43
752catalysedadj43
753defectiveadj43
754galln43
755tricuspidadj43
756turgidityn42
757antidiureticadj42
758immunodeficiencyn42
759pelvisn42
760ratn42
761rectumn42
762abon41
763barkn41
764bolusn41
765cartilagen41
766hydrostaticadj41
767microvillin41
768thoraxn41
769tubern41
770albinoadj41
771codominancen41
772eyeballn41
773hollowadj41
774hybridadj41
775photosynthesisev41
776anterioradj40
777attachmentn40
778chestn40
779dehydrogenasen40
780denaturationn40
781eutrophicationn40
782extinctionn40
783photolysisn40
784transplantn40
785arterialadj40
786constrictv40
787ribosen40
788squeezev40
789biconcaveadj39
790modificationn39
791singularn39
792circularn39
793fibrinn39
794hereditaryadj39
795sterileadj39
796bioticadj38
797flagellumn38
798albinismn38
799cervixn38
800fallopianadj38
801microscopicadj38
802relayv38
803tarn38
804adiposeadj37
805agglutinationn37
806beatn37
807monohybridadj37
808plasmolysisn37
809waxyadj37
810connectiveadj37
811dendronn37
812mutatedadj37
813larynxn36
814pregnantadj36
815scleran36
816sievev36
817sludgen36
818stomataladj36
819swellv36
820epididymisn36
821peripheraladj36
822prostaten36
823relaxationn36
824conferv35
825cyaniden35
826sealv35
827endospermn35
828harmlessadj35
829leafyadj35
830potometern35
831tomaton35
832unwantedadj35
833valinen35
834adenosinen34
835colin34
836crossingn34
837atrialadj34
838boundadj33
839shortenv33
840transfusionn33
841flattenedadj33
842namedadj33
843codingn32
844dermisn32
845fataladj32
846featheryadj32
847stimulationn32
848ventraladj32
849egestionn32
850fetaladj32
851containingadj31
852emulsifyv31
853engulfv31
854saturationn31
855unicellularadj31
856compactadj31
857enzymaticadj31
858ancestorn30
859chiasman30
860creatininen30
861pharynxn30
862closingn30
863diabeticadj30
864grasshoppern30
865hydrogencarbonaten30
866nosen30
867biotechnologyn29
868breedn29
869chiasmatan29
870ganglionn29
871relaxedadj29
872vasodilationn29
873antagonisticadj29
874autosomaladj29
875lactasen29
876assimilationn28
877inheritedadj28
878pituitaryn28
879pollinationadj28
880vasoconstrictionn28



logo



Sheldon Smith

Author: Sheldon Smith    ‖    Last modified: 21 November 2021.

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.



Popular pages in the vocab sectionMost viewed pages