Knowledge-based Vocabulary Lists - Norbert Schmitt

Knowledge-based Vocabulary Lists - Norbert Schmitt

The Need for Knowledge-based Vocabulary Lists (KVL)

Knowledge-based Vocabulary Lists - Norbert Schmitt

Norbert Schmitt [+-]
Nottingham University
Norbert Schmitt is Emeritus Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Nottingham, specializing in second language vocabulary issues. He directed the project from a lexical perspective, and carried out the main data analysis.
Karen Dunn [+-]
British Council
Dr. Karen Dunn is a Senior Researcher in measurement and evaluation at the British Council. She holds a PhD in Applied Social Statistics and Masters in Language Studies. The focus of Karen’s PhD research was on using Explanatory Item Response Theory to investigate word difficulty for L2 learners of English. In additional to operational test concerns, her current research interests include scoring validity of reading reordering tasks, assessing language test dimensionality, and linking motivational profiles to proficiency outcomes.
Barry O'Sullivan [+-]
British Council
Barry O’Sullivan is Head of Assessment Research and Development, the British Council, London, Visiting Professor of Language Assessment at the University of Reading, and Advisory Professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
Laurence Anthony [+-]
Waseda University, Japan
Laurence Anthony is a Professor in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Waseda University, Japan. He is a former director of the Center for English Language Education (CELESE) and is the coordinator of the CELESE technical English program. He received the M.A. degree in TESL/TEFL, and the Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Birmingham, UK, and the B.Sc. degree in mathematical physics from the University of Manchester, UK. His research interests include corpus linguistics, educational technology, natural language processing (NLP), and genre analysis. His main research interests are in educational technology, corpus linguistics, and natural language processing. Continuing from his Masters work in genre analysis, he developed software to automatically analyze texts at the sentence and discourse level for his PhD. Since then, he has been developing educational software for use by researchers, teachers, and learners in corpus linguistics, including AntConc, a freeware concordancer, AntWordProfiler, a freeware vocabulary profiler, and more recently web-based monolingual and parallel concordancers.
Benjamin Kremmel [+-]
University of Innsbruck
Benjamin Kremmel is Head of the Language Testing Research Group Innsbruck (LTRGI) at the University of Innsbruck. He is currently a lecturer and researcher at the Department for Subject-specific Education at the Faculty of Teacher Education and has been involved in multiple language test development projects, such as the exam reform of the Austrian school leaving exam and the development of a new national language exam for diagnosis and educational monitoring. His PhD at the University of Nottingham, UK, was on the development and validation of vocabulary assessments. His research interests include vocabulary assessment, L2 reading assessment, diagnostic language testing, language assessment literacy, and SLA. His work has been published in Language Testing, Language Assessment Quarterly, Applied Linguistics, Language Teaching, PlosOne and TESOL Quarterly.


This introductory chapter outlines the need and the rationale of the KVL. It begins with a brief history of word lists, illustrating how they are useful for second language pedagogy. It then moves on to frequency-based lists and their strengths, but particularly their weakness. Finally, it argues why a knowledge-based list can overcomes many of these weaknesses for many pedagogic purposes.

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Schmitt, Norbert; Dunn, Karen; O'Sullivan, Barry; Anthony, Laurence; Kremmel, Benjamin . The Need for Knowledge-based Vocabulary Lists (KVL). Knowledge-based Vocabulary Lists. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Jan 2024. ISBN 9781800504141. Date accessed: 22 Sep 2023 doi: 10.1558/equinox.41773. Jan 2024

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