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Regarding Learning and Teaching

Categories: LinguisticsTeaching

Regarding learning and teaching of vocabulary in English for academic purposes (EAP), it is often challenging to make principled decisions about which words are worth focusing on during valuable class and independent study time(Coxhead, 2000). These words can be technical, academic, or a mixture of both, namely technical academic. The fundamental role vocabulary in specialized texts has been recognized to be central to the teaching and learning of disciplinary specific English in EAP courses (Ha and Hyland, 2017; Chung & Nation, 2003 and 2004; Kwary, 2011; Woodward-Kron, 2008).

Chung and Nation (2004) remark that technical vocabularies create a major concern for learners with special purposes in language learning. Because technical vocabularies are important in EAP classes as it helps learners develop their subject knowledge (Ha and Hyland, 2017), understanding of them is a requirement of many disciplines. Technical vocabulary is subject related, occurs in a specialist domain, and is part of a system of subject knowledge (Chung and Nation, 2004).

Technical vocabularies can be identified by referring to subject area specialists who have specialized knowledge of their areas of studies.

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These technical vocabularies should either only occur in a specialist area or occur with much greater frequency in that area than other areas (Becka, 1972; Yang, 1986; Baker, 1988; Farrell, 1990). Because technical vocabulary includes words closely related to a specific sub-?eld and not frequent in other ?elds (Valipouri & Nassaji, 2013) they vary greatly across subject areas. The meanings of them are closely related to a particular subject area. As Nation (2001) mentioned, technical vocabularies compose about 5% of the words in academic texts, while based on the discipline, these words may account for up to 31% of the running words in anatomy (Chung and Nation ,2003).

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This can be related to the idea of specificity of EAP texts that the EAP practitioners work closely with special vocabulary to gain an understanding of discourses and courses related to their disciplines. These special vocabularies are restricted based on their uses in the range of topics.

The value of texts analysis in EAP is associated with the idea that the texts used in particular specialist environments have particular characteristics that distinguish them from other texts and from the generalized summaries of linguistic features that arise from an approach to text analysis that uses a corpus of differing texts (Dudley-Evans, 1994).

Given the assumption that frequency and coverage are important criteria for selecting vocabulary, a corpus, or collection of texts, is a valuable source of empirical information that can be used to examine the language in depth (Biber, Conrad, & Reppen, 1994 cited in Coxhead, 2000).The written forms of the academic community, particularly the research articles, are a frequent focus of genre research (van Enk and Powerm 2017). Research articles as technical corpora can be considered as an important source of technical information in order to investigate vocabularies related to specific fields of study. Specialists are actual writers of research articles and they try to use technical vocabularies in order to publish their articles in well known journals. These specialists try to use the words considered to be important for the message of the text. Thus general academic world lists such as AWL which are base on corpora from different disciplines cannot be useful for specific discipline, because the use of vocabulary varies significantly across disciplines in terms of range, frequency, collocation, and meaning (Hyland & Tse, 2007) these lists are not restricted to a specific discipline. Valipouri, and Nassaji (2013) compared their Chemistry Academic Word List with AWL and found that many of the AWL items were not used frequently in the subject area they examined.

As a result, developing ?eld-speci?c or technical academic vocabulary lists which derive from the target genres and texts that students and teachers need to read and write in their own academic discipline is useful and practical for various specific disciplines. In turn, accounting students need to read and write research articles written in English in order to be aware of the latest development and research trends in the field. One prerequisite to this awareness is to know words which are common in accounting research articles. Many word lists have been developed for several specific disciplines ( Khani and Tazik’s (2013) academic word list for applied linguistics; Hsu’s (2014) engineering; Mudraya’s (2006) Engineering Academic Word List ; Wang, Liang, and Ge’s (2008) Medical Academic Word List (MAWL); Valipouri, and Nassaji’s (2013) Chemistry Academic Word List (CAWL) and Yang’s (2015) Nursing Academic Word List (NAWL)). Regarding accounting, no study has been done to provide a technical academic word list specific to this field. In order to develop a more restricted, discipline-based lexical repertoire, this research article is an attempt to develop a standard technical academic word list of accounting. In developing the word list we have tried to answer the following questions:

1. What are the most frequently used technical academic words in the most influential accounting research articles?

2. Do technical academic words in accounting research articles coincide with words in coxhead’s(2000) academic word list?

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Regarding Learning and Teaching. (2019, Nov 29). Retrieved from

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