Academic Word Lists

The Academic Word List is one of several vocabulary lists that does not connect directly with a single particular piece of literature. It includes ten units of sets of words most frequently found in school text books of all types, hence applying to non-fiction.”The Academic Word List, compiled by Coxhead (2000), consists of 570 word families that are not in the most frequent 2,000 words of English but which occur reasonably frequently over a very wide range of academic texts.These 570 words are grouped into ten sublists that reflect word frequency and range.

A word like analyze falls into Sublist 1, which contains the most frequent words, while the word adjacent falls into Sublist 10 which includes the least frequent (amongst this list of high incidence words)… knowledge of the most high-incidence academic words in English can significantly boost a student’s comprehension level of school-based reading material.” Coxhead, Averil. (2000). A new academic word list. TESOL Quarterly, 34, 213-238. Averil

Coxhead’s website:

Click here to view the Academic Word Lists and all literary word lists.

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Common Core Critical Vocabulary
added to our Academic Word Lists!