A Corpus-Based Vocabulary Selection for Grades 1-3 Thai EFL Learners

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Liping He
Sirinthorn Seepho

Abstract

Vocabulary is one of the key components of successful language learning because it is central to learners’ communicative competence. Therefore, essential words EFL/ESL students need to learn must
be well selected for effective teaching and efficient learning. Since there are no research-based English vocabulary lists for Grades 1-3 students, this research study aimed to find a list of the first 500 words most frequently appearing in textbooks that young learners needed to learn and to compare the list with three other most frequently quoted lists. A corpus of 146,192 running words was compiled from 501 lessons of the 14 series of textbooks. From this initial corpus, a total of 3,818 word types in frequency rank were identified from running the Range GSL and manually lemmatized to extract all base forms.  As a result, the Most Frequent 500-Word List for Grades 1-3 was yielded. To further validate the word list, the percentage of overlap between this word list and three popular word lists, namely the General Service List, the Oxford Word List, and the Dolch Basic Word List, was examined. The results showed a very high percentage of overlapped words between each of them and the Most Frequent 500-word list.

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