AWL – The Academic Word List Lessons

The AWL – Academic Word List was developed by Professor Averil Coxhead. Averil Coxhead is a Professor of Applied Linguistics in School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. She teaches course content on second language acquisition. Averil Coxhead has lectured in New Zealand, England, Estonia, Hungary, and Romania.

The AWL – Academic Word List is very useful to English Learners who wish to learn academic vocabulary so they can comprehend academic texts better as well as communicate more eloquently both in the school and professional settings when using academic language.

Here at we wish to help prepare English Learners for the academic settings of university and the professional world. We will share here definitions of the hundreds of head words of the families in the Academic Word List.

We will organize these academic terms in mini-lessons, each featuring 5 academic terms with several definitions and examples as well as audio for better understanding and use by Advanced Level English Learners.

AWL – Academic Word List Lessons

  1. Lesson 151 — Academic Word List: Lesson 1
  2. Lesson 152 — Academic Word List: Lesson 2
  3. Lesson 153 — Academic Word List: Lesson 3
  4. Lesson 154 — Academic Word List: Lesson 4
  5. Lesson 155 — Academic Word List: Lesson 5
  6. Lesson 156 — Academic Word List: Lesson 6
  7. Lesson 157 — Academic Word List: Lesson 7
  8. Lesson 158 — Academic Word List: Lesson 8
  9. Lesson 159 — Academic Word List: Lesson 9
  10. Lesson 160 — Academic Word List: Lesson 10
  11. Lesson 161 — Academic Word List: Lesson 11
  12. Lesson 162 — Academic Word List: Lesson 12
  13. Lesson 163 — Academic Word List: Lesson 13
  14. Lesson 164 — Academic Word List: Lesson 14
  15. Lesson 165 — Academic Word List: Lesson 15
  16. Lesson 166 — Academic Word List: Lesson 16
  17. Lesson 167 — Academic Word List: Lesson 17
  18. Lesson 168 — Academic Word List: Lesson 18
  19. Lesson 169 — Academic Word List: Lesson 19
  20. Lesson 170 — Academic Word List: Lesson 20

Learning the Academic Word List is Useful

Academic success is heavily reliant on a student’s vocabulary repertoire. A plethora of research studies has shown that students who possess a wider vocabulary have a better understanding of the curriculum and are more likely to perform well academically. The Academic Word List (AWL) is a collection of the most common and widely used academic words. A publication from the University of Oxford Press, the AWL comprises 570-word families essential for academic success. Even though the AWL is aimed at non-native English speakers, native speakers can also benefit from reaffirming their understanding of academic vocabulary. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of the AWL and how students can benefit from it. This will include examining how the AWL is structured and how to learn the list effectively. We will also explore how the AWL differs from traditional vocabulary lists and how educators can incorporate it into their language instruction. The AWL offers a way for students to enhance their academic vocabulary, which

1. What is the Academic Word List (AWL)?

The Academic Word List (AWL) is a compilation of the 570 most frequently used academic words in English. It was developed to help students improve their academic vocabulary, particularly in American English. These words are used across various academic subjects and are seen as essential for students to master to succeed in higher education. Learning the academic word list and academic vocabulary, in general, is often seen as one of the most effective ways to improve one’s comprehension and communication skills in an educational setting. By studying and incorporating these words into their daily language use, students can increase their understanding of course materials, express themselves more precisely in academic writing and discussions, and ultimately improve their performance in academic settings.

2. How is the AWL helpful in improving vocabulary?

The Academic Word List (AWL) is a set of 570 words chosen for their frequent use in academic instruction and publications. Learning these words can help you better understand and communicate in American English educational settings. Academic vocabulary is specialized and precise, and the AWL provides a roadmap for building a solid foundation of academic jargon. By learning the AWL, you can expand and refine your language and increase your comprehension of literary texts. The AWL is helpful because it allows you to recognize a word and use it effectively in writing and speaking. It is a valuable investment in your English language skills as it helps you become more proficient in academic language. Recognizing critical terms in academic writing allows you to participate in class discussions and understand complex texts, increasing your overall academic success.

3. What topics are covered by the AWL?

The Academic Word List (AWL) lists 570 words considered essential for academic purposes. It was developed by Averil Coxhead in 2000 and has become a valuable tool for English learners looking to improve their academic vocabulary. The list covers various topics, including science, technology, social sciences, and humanities. Some of the issues covered by the AWL include education, economics, politics, psychology, and sociology. The AWL aims to provide students with the necessary academic vocabulary to succeed in American English-speaking universities. It is a highly recommended resource for anyone learning the English academic language. Whether starting as an English learner or looking to improve your academic vocabulary, remembering the words on the AWL can be a valuable investment of your time and energy.

4. What resources are available to learn the AWL?

Many resources are available if you want to improve your academic vocabulary and learn the Academic Word List (AWL). The AWL consists of 570-word families frequently appearing in academic texts, so it’s a great tool for improving your understanding and use of academic vocabulary. To learn the AWL, you can use online resources such as online courses, flashcards, wordlists, and quizzes on websites like Quizlet, Memrise, or Learn Academic Word List. You can also find books specifically designed to teach the AWL, such as “Vocabulary for Academic English” by Richard Side and Guy Wellman. Many universities and language schools also offer courses or workshops focused on learning academic vocabulary. You can check with your institution to see if this is an option. Finally, immersing yourself in American English by listening to podcasts, watching TV and movies, and reading academic articles can also help you pick up new vocabulary and familiarize yourself with the context in which academic language is used. With these resources, you can quickly and effectively expand your academic vocabulary by learning and mastering the AWL.

5. How can you test your knowledge of the AWL?

One efficient way to test your knowledge of the AWL is to take online quizzes or tests specifically designed for this purpose. These tests usually cover various categories of academic vocabularies, such as nouns, adjectives, verbs, and prepositions. They can also test your understanding of common expressions and collocations frequently used in academic writing or speaking. It is important to note that the AWL is based on American English, so it is advisable to choose tests tailored to this dialect. In addition, practicing with flashcards or word games can help strengthen your memory and increase your exposure to different forms of academic vocabulary. By consistently testing and reviewing your understanding of the AWL, you can effectively enhance your academic vocabulary skills and improve your ability to comprehend and produce complex texts.

In conclusion, the Academic Word List (AWL) is an essential tool for students, scholars, and professionals who want to improve their academic vocabulary. By mastering the AWL, individuals can expand their knowledge of specialized terminology, improve their writing and communication skills, and enhance their chances of success in academic and professional settings. Whether you are a native or non-native speaker of English, investing time and effort into learning the AWL is a valuable investment that can pay off in many ways.

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