The Importance of High Frequency Vocabulary

Dr. Charles Browne, the EnglishCentral pedagogical advisor, recently gave a talk relating the importance of learning high frequency vocabulary through authentic video. Here’s his presentation and notes. Lots of sterling ideas.

Plenary Address:

Comprehending Authentic Video: The Importance of High Frequency Vocabulary

Although there are now many online resources for accessing authentic video in and out of the classroom, this presentation argues that the gap between the average vocabulary size of typical EFL language learners and the amount of vocabulary needed to comprehend those videos is usually quite daunting. In this session, the presenter will begin by developing the argument for the importance of teaching high frequency vocabulary, citing some of his background research on the serious vocabulary gaps that face EFL learners in Japan. After a discussion of the differences between high frequency vocabulary needed for proficiency in reading and that for listening, he will then describe the theoretical underpinnings of several online tools he helped to develop for assisting students to be able to better comprehend unsimplified videos (as well as many freeware and shareware equivalents). Participants will be introduced to an approach for rating the difficulty of videos by their vocabulary content and developing targeted special purpose vocabulary lists based on corpus research of the transcripts of the videos,

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