Corpus-Based Frequency Profiling: Migration To A Word List Based On The British National Corpus

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Leah Gilner
Frank Morales


The selection and assessment of ELT materials involve multiple criteria. The use of frequency word lists to profile the vocabulary makeup of a text is one such criterion. It provides a quantifiable characterization and classification of lexical material in terms of corpus-based frequency measures. The process of vocabulary profiling is not without challenges, first among which is the identification of a word list adequate for ELT. The choice will determine the amount of information, if any, that can be derived from a text. This paper provides an appraisal of a frequency word list based on the British National Corpus (BNC) and shows the benefits that can be gained by profiling with this list rather than with the long-established General Service List (West, 1953).

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