New Vocabulary Application now Available on EnglishCentral

EnglishCentral has completed a major upgrade of its vocabulary learning application.  The application now includes the following courses:

  • Core Vocabulary is a set of 2800 words used most frequently in daily life.  It covers ~92% of the English learners would see in newspapers, magazines, books, TV and movies.  It is an updated version of what is commonly referred to as the General Service List (GSL) in the vocabulary field.
  • Academic Vocabulary is for learners looking to master words that appear frequently in academic texts and lectures. When learned together with the Core Vocabulary 2800, this list gives ~92% coverage of typical academic materials used in universities in English-speaking countries. It is an updated version of what is commonly referred to as the Academic World List (AWL) in the vocabulary field.
  • Business Vocabulary contains 1700 words for learners looking to master general business English situations.  When learned in combination with the Core Vocabulary of 2800 words, this list provides ~97% coverage of the English needed in most general business situations.
  • TOEIC Vocabulary contains 1200 words that appear most frequently in the texts and listening materials that appear on the TOEIC exam. When combined with Core Vocabulary 2800, this list provides ~99% coverage of words that appear on the TOEIC exam.


The Core Vocab Course is based on  New General Service List (NGSL)  developed by a team led  by Dr. Charles Browne from Meiji Gakuin University.  The origin of Core Vocab list is a 2-billion-word corpus developed by Cambridge University.  Dr. Browne and his team analyzed the Cambridge University corpus to determine the core high-frequency vocabulary words for students of English as a second language.

The Academic Vocab, Business Vocab and TOEIC Vocab courses were also developed by Dr. Browne and team based on separate corpora specifically assembled by them for each list.

Level Tests

We provide a Vocab Level Test as a diagnostic test of knowledge of the Core Vocab (NGSL) and Academic Vocab (NAWL) lists that is designed  to level students within those lists.

The test is based on test items developed by Phil Bennett at Miyazaki International College and Tim Stoeckel at the University of Niigata Prefecture.  Their results of using these tests with their students shows very high reliability (over .90),

Our version of the test is comprised of 140 items, 20 for each of five approximately 560-word bands of the Core Vocab and 20 for each of the two bands of the Academic Word List.   It supports both an English version and bilingual versions for Japanese,  Turkish, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish versions of the test.  We recommend the bilingual version if it is available in the students native language.

We use a cumulative 90% correct threshold to determine the students “Starting Level“, and then match students to one of the 14 Starting Levels in the courses: Core Vocab, Academic Vocab, TOEIC Vocab, or  Business Vocab.     Each of these Vocab levels can be mapped to CEFR, TOEIC or TOEFL scores.

Course Study

To identify all gaps in the student’s knowledge in Core Vocabulary, we recommend that students complete all words in all units of the Core Vocab from their Starting Level.  Each course is divided into 20 unit quizzes, which take approximately 3 minutes per quiz, depending on the student’s level.   We recommend teachers assign one Unit each week for 100 new words per week, or about 15 minutes of study time.


MyWords is the core of the time interval learning features of vocab study on EnglishCentral.  All words studied in Courses  — whether correctly or incorrectly answered — are added to MyWords, where the time interval learning takes place.  The time intervals set by the system are: 1 day, 3 day, 10 days and 30 days.

Words are automatically ordered by “Ready to Study” based on the time interval learning algorithm.

Students can focus exclusively on words they got wrong   from the assigned Course or from Learn Mode or Quiz Mode in Video Lessons.  These “incorrect” words are automatically added to MyWords.

Students can also focus on words they have Favorited  during their study of the vocab course or while doing Video Lessons.  Favorited words are  also automatically added to MyWords.

Vocab Mastery 

In a one year-program (28-week program), 100 words per week means about 2800 Words can be covered in the full year.  

Students can also demonstrate “mastery” of a certain number  of words during the course of their study on EnglishCentral.    Mastery requires 5 correct learns over different time intervals, as described here:

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