Word Saliency and Frequency of Academic Words in Textbooks: A Case Study in the New Standard College English

  •  Yan Liqin    
  •  Gao Xinlu    


Though textbooks are one of the main vocabulary input resources for domestic college students and core contents of learning and testing (Liu, 2013), few empirical studies are done to evaluate learning opportunities provided by textbooks. This empirical study is designed to analyze what learning opportunity is provided in a currently used series of textbooks of academic words, which in the present study are all from the 570-item Academic Word List (AWL) that Coxhead (2000) produces based on his self-constructed academic corpus. Through the interpretation of the quantitative and qualitative results, it was found that a favorable learning opportunity of academic words was provided in the number of academic word families appearing in the textbooks, their frequency distribution, and the word in-depth knowledge. The pedagogical implications were as follows: the occurrences of new words in the texts could be adjusted and controlled so as to ensure learners’ learning and use of them, and more attention should be paid to the collocation of words in the textbook designing process, which is vital to realize contextual richness and is conducive to acquire vocabulary.

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