Academic Keyword List

CECL

The Academic Keyword List (AKL) was developed by Magali Paquot within the framework of a research project led by Professor Sylviane Granger at the Centre for English Corpus Linguistics, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium.
 
The AKL contains 930 potential academic words, i.e. words that are reasonably frequent in a wide range of academic texts but relatively uncommon in other kinds of texts and which, as such, might be used to refer to those activities that characterize academic work, organize scientific discourse and build the rhetoric of academic texts, and so be granted the status of academic vocabulary.
 
The method used to extract potential academic words is primarily based on keyness. For details on the development of the AKL, see Paquot, M. (2010). Academic Vocabulary in Learner Writing: From Extraction to Analysis. London & New-York: Continuum, 29-63.
 
The AKL differs widely from Coxhead’s (2000) Academic Word List as it includes high frequency words (e.g. aim, argue, because, compare, explain, namely, result) which have been shown to play an essential structuring role in academic prose.
 
The Academic Keyword List is not a final product and does not in itself ‘carry any guarantee of pedagogical relevance’ (Widdowson, 1991: 20–1). It still needs ‘pedagogic mediation’(Widdowson, 2003) and is thus better conceived of as a ‘platform from which to launch corpus-based pedagogical enterprises’ (Swales, 2002: 151).
 
The AKL is now being used at the Centre for English Corpus Linguistics to inform a web-based dictionary of sub-technical vocabulary: the Louvain EAP dictionary (cf. Granger & Paquot, 2010a; Granger & Paquot, 2010b).
 
The AKL is made available free of charge to teachers and academics who want to use it for teaching and/or research purposes provided that reference is made to:
 
Paquot, M. (2010). Academic Vocabulary in Learner Writing: From Extraction to Analysis. London & New-York: Continuum, 56-58.
 
 
The Academic Keyword List (AKL)
 
355 nouns
ability, absence, account, achievement, act, action, activity, addition, adoption, adult, advance, advantage, advice, age, aim, alternative, amount, analogy, analysis, application, approach, argument, aspect, assertion, assessment, assistance, association, assumption, attempt, attention, attitude, author, awareness, balance, basis, behaviour, being, belief, benefit, bias, birth, capacity, case, category, cause, centre, challenge, change, character, characteristic, choice, circumstance, class, classification, code, colleague, combination, commitment, committee, communication, community, comparison, complexity, compromise, concentration, concept, conception, concern, conclusion, condition, conduct, conflict, consensus, consequence, consideration, constraint, construction, content, contradiction, contrast, contribution, control, convention, correlation, country, creation, crisis, criterion, criticism, culture, damage, data, debate, decision, decline, defence, definition, degree, demand, description, destruction, determination, development, difference, difficulty, dilemma, dimension, disadvantage, discovery, discrimination, discussion, distinction, diversity, division, doctrine, effect, effectiveness, element, emphasis, environment, error, essence, establishment, evaluation, event, evidence, evolution, examination, example, exception, exclusion, existence, expansion, experience, experiment, explanation, exposure, extent, extreme, fact, factor, failure, feature, female, figure, finding, force, form, formation, function, future, gain, group, growth, guidance, guideline, hypothesis, idea, identity, impact, implication, importance, improvement, increase, indication, individual, influence, information, insight, instance, institution, integration, interaction, interest, interpretation, intervention, introduction, investigation, isolation, issue, kind, knowledge, lack, learning, level, likelihood, limit, limitation, link, list, literature, logic, loss, maintenance, majority, male, manipulation, mankind, material, means, measure, medium, member, method, minority, mode, model, motivation, movement, need, network, norm, notion, number, observation, observer, occurrence, operation, opportunity, option, organisation, outcome, output, parallel, parent, part, participant, past, pattern, percentage, perception, period, person, personality, perspective, phenomenon, point, policy, population, position, possibility, potential, practice, presence, pressure, problem, procedure, process, production, programme, progress, property, proportion, proposition, protection, provision, publication, purpose, quality, question, range, rate, reader, reality, reason, reasoning, recognition, reduction, reference, relation, relationship, relevance, report, representative, reproduction, requirement, research, resistance, resolution, resource, respect, restriction, result, review, rise, risk, role, rule, sample, scale, scheme, scope, search, section, selection, sense, separation, series, service, set, sex, shift, significance, similarity, situation, skill, society, solution, source, space, spread, standard, statistics, stimulus, strategy, stress, structure, subject, success, summary, support, survey, system, target, task, team, technique, tendency, tension, term, theme, theory, tolerance, topic, tradition, transition, trend, type, uncertainty, understanding, unit, use, validity, value, variation, variety, version, view, viewpoint, volume, whole, work, world
233 verbs
accept, account (for), achieve, acquire, act, adapt, adopt, advance, advocate, affect, aid, aim, allocate, allow, alter, analyse, appear, apply, argue, arise, assert, assess, assign, associate, assist, assume, attain, attempt, attend, attribute, avoid, base, be, become, benefit, can, cause, characterise, choose, cite, claim, clarify, classify, coincide, combine, compare, compete, comprise, concentrate, concern, conclude, conduct, confine, conform, connect, consider, consist, constitute, construct, contain, contrast, contribute, control, convert, correspond, create, damage, deal, decline, define, demonstrate, depend, derive, describe, design, destroy, determine, develop, differ, differentiate, diminish, direct, discuss, display, distinguish, divide, dominate, effect, eliminate, emerge, emphasize, employ, enable, encounter, encourage, enhance, ensure, establish, evaluate, evolve, examine, exceed, exclude, exemplify, exist, expand, experience, explain, expose, express, extend, facilitate, fail, favour, finance, focus, follow, form, formulate, function, gain, generate, govern, highlight, identify, illustrate, imply, impose, improve, include, incorporate, increase, indicate, induce, influence, initiate, integrate, interpret, introduce, investigate, involve, isolate, label, lack, lead, limit, link, locate, maintain, may, measure, neglect, note, obtain, occur, operate, outline, overcome, participate, perceive, perform, permit, pose, possess, precede, predict, present, preserve, prevent, produce, promote, propose, prove, provide, publish, pursue, quote, receive, record, reduce, refer, reflect, regard, regulate, reinforce, reject, relate, rely, remain, remove, render, replace, report, represent, reproduce, require, resolve, respond, restrict, result, retain, reveal, seek, select, separate, should, show, solve, specify, state, stimulate, strengthen, stress, study, submit, suffer, suggest, summarise, supply, support, sustain, tackle, tend, term, transform, treat, undermine, undertake, use, vary, view, write, yield
180 adjectives
absolute, abstract, acceptable, accessible, active, actual, acute, additional, adequate, alternative, apparent, applicable, appropriate, arbitrary, available, average, basic, central, certain, clear, common, competitive, complete, complex, comprehensive, considerable, consistent, conventional, correct, critical, crucial, dependent, detailed, different, difficult, distinct, dominant, early, effective, equal, equivalent, essential, evident, excessive, experimental, explicit, extensive, extreme, far, favourable, final, fixed, following, formal, frequent, fundamental, future, general, great, high, human, ideal, identical, immediate, important, inadequate, incomplete, independent, indirect, individual, inferior, influential, inherent, initial, interesting, internal, large, late, leading, likely, limited, local, logical, main, major, male, maximum, mental, minimal, minor, misleading, modern, mutual, natural, necessary, negative, new, normal, obvious, original, other, overall, parallel, partial, particular, passive, past, permanent, physical, positive, possible, potential, practical, present, previous, primary, prime, principal, productive, profound, progressive, prominent, psychological, radical, random, rapid, rational, real, realistic, recent, related, relative, relevant, representative, responsible, restricted, scientific, secondary, selective, separate, severe, sexual, significant, similar, simple, single, so-called, social, special, specific, stable, standard, strict, subsequent, substantial, successful, successive, sufficient, suitable, surprising, symbolic, systematic, theoretical, total, traditional, true, typical, unique, unlike, unlikely, unsuccessful, useful, valid, valuable, varied, various, visual, vital, wide, widespread
87 adverbs
above, accordingly, accurately, adequately, also, approximately, at best, basically, clearly, closely, commonly, consequently, considerably, conversely, correctly, directly, effectively, e.g., either, equally, especially, essentially, explicitly, extremely, fairly, far, for example, for instance, frequently, fully, further, generally, greatly, hence, highly, however, increasingly, indeed, independently, indirectly, inevitably, initially, in general, in particular, largely, less, mainly, more, moreover, most, namely, necessarily, normally, notably, often, only, originally, over, partially, particularly, potentially, previously, primarily, purely, readily, recently, relatively, secondly, significantly, similarly, simply, socially, solely somewhat, specifically, strongly, subsequently, successfully, thereby, therefore, thus, traditionally, typically, ultimately, virtually, wholly, widely
75 others
according to, although, an, as, as opposed to, as to, as well as, because, because of, between, both, by, contrary to, depending on, despite, due to, during, each, even though, fewer, first, former, from, for, given that, in, in addition to, in common with, in favour of, in relation to, in response to, in terms of, in that, in the light of, including, its, itself, latter, less, little, many, most, of, or, other than, per, prior to, provided, rather than, same, second, several, since, some, subject to, such, such as, than, that, the, their, themselves, these, third, this, those, to, unlike, upon, versus, whereas, whether, whether or not, which, within

References

  • Coxhead, A. (2000). A new Academic Word List. TESOL Quarterly, 34 (2), 213–38.
  • Granger, S. & M. Paquot (2010a) Customising a general EAP dictionary to meet learner needs. In Granger, S. & M. Paquot (eds) (2010) eLexicography in the 21st century: New challenges, new applications. Proceedings of ELEX2009. Cahiers du CENTAL. Louvain-la-Neuve, Presses universitaires de Louvain, 87-96.
  • Granger, S. & M. Paquot (2010b) The Louvain EAP Dictionary (LEAD). In Proceedings of the XIV EURALEX International Congress, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, 6-10 July 2010, 321-326.
  • Swales, J. M. (2002). Integrated and fragmented worlds: EAP materials and corpus Linguistics. In Flowerdew, J. (ed.). Academic Discourse. Harlow: Pearson Education, pp. 150–64.
  • Widdowson, H. G. (1991). The description and prescription of language. In Alatis, J. E. (ed.), Linguistics and Language Pedagogy: The State of the Art. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, pp. 11–24.
  • Widdowson, H. G. (2003). Defining Issues in English Language Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.