VLI 4(1): Stoeckel & Bennett (2015)

A Test of the New General Service List
Tim Stoeckel (a) and Phil Bennett (b)
(a) University of Niigata Prefecture; (b) Miyazaki International College
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v04.1.stoeckel.bennett
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This paper introduces the New General Service List Test (NGSLT), a
diagnostic instrument designed to assess written receptive knowledge of
the words on the New General Service List (NGSL) (Browne, 2014). The
NGSL was introduced in 2013 as an updated version of West’s (1953)
original General Service List. It is comprised of 2,800 high frequency
headwords plus their inflected forms and is designed to provide maximal
coverage of modern English texts. The test introduced here is divided into
five 20-item levels, each assessing a 560-word frequency band of the
NGSL. Using a multiple choice format, the NGSLT is intended to assist
teachers and learners in identifying gaps in knowledge of these high
frequency words. Data from 238 Japanese university students indicate the
NGSLT is reliable (α = .93) and that it measures a single construct. A
comparison of NGSLT and Vocabulary Size Test (Nation & Beglar, 2007)
scores for a small group of learners shows that the NGSLT provides
more detailed diagnostic information for high frequency words and
may therefore be of greater pedagogic use for low and intermediate
level learners. Ongoing developments include parallel versions of
the NGSLT as well as a separate instrument to assess knowledge of
the New Academic Word List. Both the NGSLT and New Academic
Word List Test are freely downloadable from the NGSL homepage

Stoeckel T. & Bennett, P. (2015). A test of the new General Service List. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 4 (1), 1-8. doi: 10.7820/vli.v04.1.stoeckel.bennett