Vocabulary in Japanese EFL Textbooks: What Vocabulary Should Junior High School Graduates Learn Next?

Conference: The IAFOR International Conference on Education in Hawaii (IICE2022)
Title: Vocabulary in Japanese EFL Textbooks: What Vocabulary Should Junior High School Graduates Learn Next?
Stream: Curriculum Design & Development
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation
Shusaku Nakayama, Meiji Gakuin University, Japan


This research investigates vocabulary words occurring in Japanese EFL textbooks designed for junior high school students. For this study, I make a corpus of junior high school textbooks, which is sourced from one series of government-approved textbooks, for a total of three textbooks. Text data are gathered from reading passages, example sentences, new words, and language activities so that the corpus can include as many English words that students are supposed to come across in the textbook as possible. The completed corpus contains approximately 45,000 tokens. This textbook corpus is compared with the New General Service List (NGSL), which can provide approximately 92% lexical coverage of general English texts with 2,800 high-frequency words, in order to see if textbooks are composed of words worth learning for students and how many of words in the NGSL are taught in textbooks. Results suggest that more than 95% of words occurring in textbooks are covered by the NGSL; however, textbooks present only 37% of words in the NGSL. These results indicate that textbooks largely consist of words that students are highly likely to meet in the real world, but they are only part of core high-frequency words. Hence, it may be almost impossible for junior high school graduates to read authentic texts without any help and would be therefore indispensable to focus on the rest 63% of NGSL words in senior high school to help students to be able to understand authentic texts.

Virtual Presentation

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