As part of the Forum discussion in Applied Linguistics, we have formulated some basic principles of corpus-based vocabulary studies and pedagogical wordlist creation and use. These principles can be summarised as follows:
- Explicitly define the vocabulary construct.
- Operationalize the vocabulary construct using transparent and replicable criteria.
- If using corpora, take corpus evidence seriously and avoid cherry-picking.
- Use multiple sources of evidence to test the validity of the vocabulary construct.
- Do not rely on your intuition/experience to determine what is useful for learners; collect evidence about learner needs to evaluate the usefulness of the list.
- Do not present learners with a decontextualized list of lexical items; use/create contextualized materials instead.
To find out more, you can read:
Brezina, V. & Gablasova, D. (2017). How to Produce Vocabulary Lists? Issues of Definition, Selection and Pedagogical Aims. A Response to Gabriele Stein. Applied Linguistics, doi:10.1093/applin/amx022.