Vocabulary SIG


Published: Mon, 11/07/2011 - 8:23pm

The Vocabulary Special Interest Group (Vocab SIG) provides a forum for focused research and discussion in specific regard to vocabulary acquisition. We offer both teachers and researchers a place to connect regarding how learners improve vocabulary knowledge, how to test their knowledge, and how these theoretical aspects connect to classroom practice.
The Vocabulary SIG aims to be a driving force for both current and future research in the field of how vocabulary can be taught, learned, and tested in an increasingly global context.
The Vocabulary SIG holds an annual symposium-style event where the latest research and pedagogical innovations in the field of second language vocabulary acquisition are discussed. This event allows invited speakers and discussants from the field to present new work and keeps the group on the cusp of vocabulary teaching and learning studies.

SIG Officers


Aaron Gibson
Mark Howarth
Jeffrey Stewart
Stuart McLean
Phil Bennett

Joining or renewing membership

You can easily join JALT or renew your JALT membership online.

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JALT membership offers numerous benefits including: Member-rate admission to JALT conferences such as the annual JALT international conference; free or member-rate admission to JALT Chapter and SIG meetings and events; access to the latest JALT Publications, and more »

Upcoming Events


Charles Browne
Friday, 26 May 2017 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm

Tokyo JALT & the Vocabulary SIG Present: Dr. Charles Browne
Join us for an event that should be of great interest to any teacher, an event about vocabulary lists and tools to use them.

Please RSVP: bit.ly/TJALTrsvp

Title: High Frequency Vocabulary Lists & the Free Online Tools to Exploit Them

Abstract: This presentation will introduce four free corpus-derived word lists that the presenter helped to create as well as demonstrate a large number of free online tools and resources for helping to use these lists for teaching, learning, materials creation as well as research and analysis.

The New General Service List (NGSL) is a list of core vocabulary words for EFL learners and is a major update of West's (1953) GSL. Based on a carefully selected 273 million word sample from the Cambridge English corpus, the 2800+ words of the NGSL offer between 90-92% coverage of most texts of general English. The New Academic Word List (NAWL) is derived from a 288 million word corpus of academic textbooks, lectures and texts from a wide range of sources. When combined with the NGSL, the NAWL's 960+ core academic words provide approximately 92% coverage for most academic texts. The TOEIC Service List (TSL) is a brand new corpus-derived list of words which occur frequently on TOEIC exams. When combined with the NGSL, the TSL’s 1000 word provide an astonishing 99% coverage of words that occur on TOEIC exams and TOEIC test-preparation materials. The Business English List (BSL) is based on a corpus of 64 million words of business texts, newspapers, journals and websites and when combined with the NGSL, the BSL’s 1700 words provides approximately 97% coverage of most general business texts.

This interactive workshop will give a brief background on how the four lists were developed and then move on to introduce and demonstrate the large and growing number of free online tools we’ve developed (or helped to develop) for these lists such as interactive flashcards, diagnostic tests, games, vocabulary profiling, text creation tools, and more.

Bio: Dr. Browne is Professor of Applied Linguistics & TESOL and Head of the EFL Teacher-Training Program at Meiji Gakuin University. He is a specialist in Second Language Vocabulary Acquisition and Extensive Reading, especially as they apply to online learning environments, and has written dozens of research articles, books, and textbooks over his 30 years in Japan. In addition to his recent work in creating several important new corpus-based word lists for second language learners known as the New General Service List (NGSL), the New Academic Word List (NAWL), TOEIC Service List (TSL) and Business Service List (BSL) and a wide range of free online tools to teach, learn and create texts based on these lists, he has also developed several research-based language learning and analysis tools including ER and EL-focused websites such as the OGTE (Online Graded Text Editor), ER-Central, EnglishCentral, etc, and works hard to share this knowledge with teachers, authors, students and researchers through countless presentations, seminars and hand-on workshops around the world.

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