Which words are worth the worry?

Session description

Schmitt Norbert
Diane Schmitt

Session details:

Pearson Longman Signature Event Which words are worth the worry? Panelists: In Brighton: Diane Schmitt (Nottingham Trent University, UK) Norbert Schmitt (University of Nottingham, UK) Online from New Zealand: Averil Coxhead (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand) Paul Nation (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand) With estimates of the size of the English language running to between 1 and 2 million word forms, where do teachers begin identifying the vocabulary that is worth focussing on with their students? Many textbook writers and publishers have focussed on the 2000 or 3000 words that, according to corpora, are the most frequent. Research, however, suggests that fluent speech can require up to 7,000 words - and between 8,000 and 9,000 word forms are needed to understand authentic written texts. How do we bridge this gap to ensure that our learners become effective users of English? In this event our panel will discuss research into the vocabulary needs of learners and suggest ways in which teachers can increase their students’ vocabulary in a structured and meaningful way.