CORPUS TECHNOLOGY AND VOCABULARY TESTING IN EAP

Oliver James Ballance

Abstract


This article sets out to question a common approach to vocabulary in many EAP contexts, and suggests that the AWL, used uncritically, does not meet the needs of many EAP students. It will then suggest utilising corpus technology for electronic text analysis as a step towards empowering EAP test design in ways which promote more sophisticated vocabulary engagement. It will first discuss vocabulary study in EAP contexts from three perspectives: the appropriateness of the AWL, the potential role of electronic text analysis in utilising authentic academic materials, and perspectives on EAP vocabulary testing as testing of a knowledge-base or an acquisition-skill. It will then assert the practicality of corpus technology being used by EAP practitioners to design vocabulary tests which would better reflect the literature on vocabulary acquisition and benefit learners by promoting higher level engagement with vocabulary.


Keywords


vocabulary; corpus; AWL; testing; EAP; EGAP; ESAP; technology

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ISSN 2045-4031. University of Central Lancashire 2010-2013.