This research set out to examine the vocabulary used in English-medium traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) textbooks and aimed to establish a TCM English word list (EWL) as a reference for English for Chinese Medicine purposes. The researcher built a 13-million-token TCM Textbook Corpus and measured the vocabulary levels of the books from within along the word-frequency scale of the British National Corpus (BNC) and the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA). Results show that knowledge of the first BNC/COCA 10,000 word families plus proper nouns would provide 98% lexical coverage of a TCM text. The first 3,000 word families were not considered for inclusion in the TCM EWL, but the next 605 most frequent word families were selected to form the word list. The TCM EWL accounted for 11.42% of running words of the corpus and encompassed various technical vocabularies—crypto-technical, lay-technical and sub-technical words. For Chinese medicine students, it can provide a window to the TCM English register, and for English for Chinese Medicine teachers, it can serve as a guide in curriculum preparation, particularly in setting vocabulary goals at the initial phase of medical English instruction.
English for Specific Purposes – Elsevier
Published: Jul 1, 2018
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