Selecting and creating a word list for English language teaching

Deny A. Kwary, Jurianto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Since the introduction of the General Service List (GSL) in 1953, a number of studies have confirmed the significant role of a word list, particularly GSL, in helping ESL students learn English. Given the recent development in technology, several researchers have created word lists, each of them claims to provide a better coverage of a text and a significant role in helping students learn English. This article aims at analyzing the claims made by the existing word lists and proposing a method for selecting words and a creating a word list. The result of this study shows that there are differences in the coverage of the word lists due to the difference in the corpora and the source text analysed. This article also suggests that we should create our own word list, which is both personalized and comprehensive. This means that the word list is not just a list of words. The word list needs to be accompanied with the senses and the patterns of the words, in order to really help ESL students learn English.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-72
Number of pages13
JournalTeaching English with Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • English
  • GSL
  • NGSL
  • Vocabulary
  • Word list


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