Academic Word List

A Project for Teaching and Learning Academic English Vocabulary

Friday, 12 06th

Last updateFri, 05 Sep 2014 10am

Guidelines for Teachers

How to use

This website has been designed and developed for assisting ESL teachers in teaching, and learners in learning academic English vocabulary. Teachers may use the site as a tool to give web-based exercises to their students while learners may use it for autonomous learning as per their convenience, time and pace of learning. The guidelines presented below can be helpful to the teachers and learners respectively in teaching and learning academic vocabulary effectively.

Guidelines for teachers

  1. As context-based teaching of vocabulary is considered more effective than word by word teaching, teachers should make good use of the ‘Corpus-based exercises’ for giving context-based exercises to their students.
  2. Register on the site to secure your Login ID and Password. 
  3. Read the blog for understanding basic issues related to teaching academic vocabulary, guidelines and knowing the problems faced by students while learning vocabulary.
  4. Conduct a pre-test to evaluate the students’ pre-teaching knowledge of academic words. Evaluate their active and passive knowledge of academic vocabulary. In order to do so, conduct a 2 hour test for 50 academic words and make them compose one meaningful sentence for each given word. Depending upon the number of words, conduct pre-test 1, 2 and so on. 
  5. Evaluate their test papers and declare their scores to them. On the basis of the scores, for homogeneous groups according to their learning levels.
  6. Group wise laboratory sessions should be conducted.
  7. Inform them about the site, Academic Word List (AWL) and tell them how they should learn from the site. The teacher should just act as a facilitator who solves their problems, clarifies doubts and provides them with technical assistance, if required.
  8. Only 25 academic words should be learnt in each 2 hour session. Guide the students to click the ‘Corpus-based exercises’ link. Then ask them to choose any subject of their choice. They should type one word at a time in the AWL search window. Then the typed word will be instantly highlighted wherever it appears in the academic text.
  9. Students should read as many examples as possible (at least 4-5) in order to understand the different forms of the word and to see how it is used in actual academic context. This will improve their knowledge of how a word is differently used in various contexts and multiple meanings.
  10. In this process, if they find it difficult to understand the meaning of the typed word, they should refer to the ‘AWL Dictionary’ on the site.
  11. All this should be conducted under the supervision of the teacher as students need the teacher’s assistance on many occasions for getting their doubts clarified.
  12. After completing all the target words, the teacher should conduct a post-test to evaluate their post-teaching knowledge of vocabulary in order to measure their improvement. May ask them to take the AWL Quizzes on the site.
  13. The teacher should also ask the students to refer to the site as and when they have time, at the institute or home. They can contact the teacher through ‘Ask the teacher’ by submitting their query. The teacher can reply as per their convenience.

About AWL

The AWL is the most recent and widely referred word list for teaching and learning academic vocabulary. The AWL was developed by Averil Coxhead from the Victoria University of Wellington,


Contact us

  • Add: Prof. Amit Hiray
    Assistant Professor
    MIT Academy of Engineering,
    Alandi (D) Pune – 412 105
  • Tel: +91-9923083701