The Academic Word List (AWL) (Coxhead, 2000) was a word list systematically established on the basis of a computerized academic corpus. The 570 word families, which supposedly represent high-frequency academic words across a range of disciplines, have provided valuable reference for vocabulary pedagogy, while inspiring the development of some more specialized academic word lists. However, to effectively utilize the AWL in relation to vocabulary teaching that draws on a specialized corpus, it will be necessary to evaluate the presence of the AWL in the corpus. The present study aims to profile the presence of the AWL items in the Hong Kong Financial Services Corpus (HKFSC), and to explore ways to effectively teach the AWL items in the corpus. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
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