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

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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