The use of academic English vocabulary in the writing of Chinese students

Marina Dodigovic, Hui Li, Yixiao Chen, Danni Guo

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Academic Word List (AWL) comprises 570 words, which cover approximately 10% of most academic texts. The success of students of non - English speaking backgrounds in English medium education depends on the command of these words. This study investigated the level of command over AWL of Xi'an Jiaotong - Liverpool University (XJTLU) final year students. Overall, the students’ writing was similar in profile to native speaker academic writing, with an approximately 12% AWL coverage. A total of 233 AWL - related errors found in the 453,801 - word electronic corpus were mostly related to word form, its part of speech and context, with analysis, focus and affect being the most difficult words.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-20
Number of pages8
JournalEnglish Teaching in China
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2014


  • academic word list
  • non english speaking
  • academic vocabulary


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