Vocabulary Analysis of Reading Texts in Korean and Finnish Upper Secondary English Textbooks

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Title: Vocabulary Analysis of Reading Texts in Korean and Finnish Upper Secondary English Textbooks
Author: Kim, Hyunah
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Humanistinen tiedekunta
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Arts
Helsingfors universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2019
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201906112508
Thesis level: master's thesis
Degree program: Englannin kielen ja kirjallisuuden maisteriohjelma
Master's Programme in English Studies
Magisterprogrammet i engelska språket och litteraturen
Specialisation: Englanti
Abstract: The study reports the results of a vocabulary analysis of reading texts in English textbooks widely used in upper secondary school in two different countries, Korea and Finland. The study uses a corpus-based approach to explore vocabulary size and selection in the textbooks. A textbook corpus was compiled from each set of textbooks and a vocabulary profile was conducted using three word frequency lists, General Service List (GSL), Academic Word List (AWL) and Nation’s BNC/COCA word list. Based on the results, it has been found that vocabulary size of the Finnish textbooks is larger than that of the Korean textbooks, surpassing easily 3,000 word families, the number of words necessary to achieve a good comprehension of basic communication in English. On the other hand, the Korean textbooks do not reach the 3,000 vocabulary level. In terms of vocabulary selection, the Finnish textbooks cover 80% of the GSL words while the Korean textbooks only cover 70% of them, missing half of the second 1,000 GSL words. However, surprisingly, there is no significant difference in the number of the AWL words between the two. In addition, the analysis reveals two different ideas behind the selection of words in the textbooks. The Finnish textbooks provide more non-high-frequency words (mid and low-frequency words) than the Korean textbooks, which indicates that the Finnish textbooks are more inclined to provide learners with vocabulary input beyond basic vocabulary. The differences in the size and selection of vocabulary seem to be largely due to the fact that Korean textbooks are under restrictions of the national curriculum as to vocabulary learning and teaching.
Subject: Corpus-based Study
Vocabulary Analysis
EFL Textbooks
Word Frequency
General Service List
Academic Word List
BNC/COCA Word List

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