The nature of vocabulary in academic speech of hard and soft-sciences

The nature of vocabulary in academic speech of hard and soft-sciences Little is known about the similarities and differences between the vocabulary in hard-sciences (e.g., Maths, Engineering, Medicine) and soft-sciences (e.g., Business, Law, History), especially in spoken discourse. To address this gap, a Soft Science Spoken Word List (SSWL) was developed for second language learners of soft-sciences at English-medium universities. The list consists of the 1,964 most frequent and wide-ranging word-families in a 6.5 million word corpus of soft-science speech, which represents 12 subjects across two equally-sized sub-corpora. The list may allow learners to recognize 94%–97% of the words in academic speech of soft-sciences. A comparison of the SSWL with Dang's (2018) Hard Science Spoken Word List revealed that although the most frequent 3,000 words are important for comprehending academic speech of both soft- and hard-sciences, the value of these words in soft-sciences is greater than in hard-sciences. Pedagogical implications related to this nature of vocabulary in hard- and soft-science speech are provided. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png English for Specific Purposes Elsevier

The nature of vocabulary in academic speech of hard and soft-sciences

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0889-4906
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.esp.2018.03.004
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Little is known about the similarities and differences between the vocabulary in hard-sciences (e.g., Maths, Engineering, Medicine) and soft-sciences (e.g., Business, Law, History), especially in spoken discourse. To address this gap, a Soft Science Spoken Word List (SSWL) was developed for second language learners of soft-sciences at English-medium universities. The list consists of the 1,964 most frequent and wide-ranging word-families in a 6.5 million word corpus of soft-science speech, which represents 12 subjects across two equally-sized sub-corpora. The list may allow learners to recognize 94%–97% of the words in academic speech of soft-sciences. A comparison of the SSWL with Dang's (2018) Hard Science Spoken Word List revealed that although the most frequent 3,000 words are important for comprehending academic speech of both soft- and hard-sciences, the value of these words in soft-sciences is greater than in hard-sciences. Pedagogical implications related to this nature of vocabulary in hard- and soft-science speech are provided.

Journal

English for Specific PurposesElsevier

Published: Jul 1, 2018

References

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