A New General Service List: The Better Mousetrap We’ve Been Looking for?
Meiji Gakuen University
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This brief paper introduces the New General Service List (NGSL), a
major update of Michael West’s 1953 General Service List (GSL) of core
vocabulary for second language learners. After describing the rationale
behind the NGSL, the specific steps taken to create it and a discussion of
the latest 1.01 version of the list, the paper moves on to comparing the
text coverage offered by the NGSL against both the GSL as well as
another recent GSL published by Brezina and Gablasova (referred to as
Other New General Service List [ONGSL] in this paper). Results indicate
that while the original GSL offers slightly better coverage for texts of
classic literature (about 0.8% better than the NGSL and 4.5% more than
the ONGSL), the NGSL offers 5-6% more coverage than either list for
more modern corpora such as Scientific American or The Economist.
Browne, C. (2014). A new general service list: The better mousetrap we’ve been looking for? Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 3 (2), 1-10. doi: 10.7820/vli.v03.2.browne