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The English Vocabulary Profile

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Presentation on theme: "The English Vocabulary Profile"— Presentation transcript:

1 The English Vocabulary Profile

2 English Profile is… A long-term collaborative research programme aiming to: understand what the CEFR actually means for English investigate what learner English is really like develop detailed reference descriptions for each CEFR level CEF levels language-independent. This has been done for some other languages. ‘I can use simple phrases and sentences to describe where I live and people I know’ – but what specific vocab do they need/use for this? What grammar forms do they need. What functional skills? Vocab strand is most developed, though work going on on other strands. 2


4 English Vocabulary Profile
Assign levels: first A1, A2, B1, B2, now C1 and C2 Not just by word but at sense level (= each meaning) Finding out what learners at each level CAN do Reflecting current classroom practice and materials British English and American English versions 4

5 Sources used for A1-B2 levels
Spoken and written native speaker corpora Cambridge ESOL Vocabulary Lists (KET & PET) Breakthrough, Waystage, Threshold & Vantage syllabi Cambridge Readers wordlists Wordlists in current coursebooks & vocabulary books Hindmarsh English Lexicon But the most important source of all is …. 5

6 Cambridge Learner Corpus
Joint development by CUP and Cambridge ESOL Over 43 million words Over 150,000 exam scripts Grows each year by 2-3 million words All CEFR levels 130 first languages 203 countries Over 20 million words coded for errors Update this slide each year. 6

7 Corpus-informed research
• provides real language data • highlights what is frequent • clearly shows typical patterns: structures, collocations, phrases, phrasal verbs, idioms • captures change over time, as a corpus is constantly updated I was just going to remind people about the strength of corpus-informed work…






13 Insights from 2010 Validation
The A1-B2 “Wordlists” have been validated by: researchers in Cambridge, Nottingham, Miami and Tokyo students tested on phrasal verbs in Tokyo, Bilbao and Brno CUP authors, editors and lexicographers Cambridge ESOL item writers and test developers teachers around the world, via Word of the Week feedback Amendments and additions have been made as a result. 13

14 Ron Martínez phrasal expressions
Embedded phrase: make your way / 100m in BNC was within ROUTE sense of way A2 - phrase pulled out, with two senses at B2 and C2 We made our way down the river. B2 He managed to make his way in the film industry. C2 This leads in to the slide with way phrases.


16 Scope of the C levels Additional senses of words already in A1-B2
New words supported by corpus evidence Extension of many word families Lots of additional phrases and phrasal verbs Frequent idioms, where there is evidence

17 Core results for know, with the C1 phrases on the next slide


19 Extra sources for C levels
IELTS data in Cambridge Learner Corpus Academic English native speaker corpora Academic Word List (Coxhead, 2000) Academic Formulas List (Ellis & Simpson-Vlach, 2010) Phrasal expressions analysis (Martínez, 2010)


21 Idioms in the EVP Only a handful to B2, eg break the ice
Additional category search for A1-C2 version Inclusion dictated by NS frequency and CLC Not included: raining cats and dogs Included: behind closed doors Idioms policy. Raining cats and dogs is a useful one to cite: lots of examples in CLC from 1993, less frequent now… and not useful/current for NS.


23 Launch plans for EVP DJK A1-C2 levels sample on EP website
A-Z A1-B2 levels available to Network Partners A-Z A1-B2 levels public release in Sept 2011 A-Z A1-C2 release in 2012 Data contributors qualify for free access

24 Cambridge English Profile Corpus
CLC is a unique resource but is solely written exam tasks. The EP Corpus will contain: Spoken learner language (2 million words) Samples of non-exam written material (8 million words) Data collection is via the English Profile website. We need you to get involved and submit student data! 24


26 English Profile: get involved!
• Visit the website Sign up to free Word of the week Contribute to the Data collection project: CEPC - The Cambridge English Profile Corpus - learner data from around the world 26

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