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SOME RESEARCH USES OF VOCABPROFILE (VP)

(Many crying out for replication in French!)

VocabProfile is a computer program that performs lexical text analysis. It takes any text and divides its words into four categories by frequency: (1) the most frequent 1000 words of English, (2) the second most frequent thousand words of English, i.e. 1001 to 2000, (3) the academic words of English (the AWL, 550 words that are frequent in academic texts across subjects), and (4) the remainder which are not found on the other lists. In other words, VP measures the proportions of low and high frequency vocabulary used by a native speaker or language learner in a written text. A typical NS result is 70-10-10-10, or 70% from first 1000, 10% from second thousand, 10% academic, and 10% less frequent words. This relatively simple tool has been useful in understanding the lexical acquisition and performance of second language learners.

The Web version of this program lacks some features of the original off-line program, as developed by Batia Laufer and Paul Nation, and in its latest version known as Range. For example, WebVP does not allow you to input several texts at the same time and keep track of which texts are contributing to which parts of the profile. Nor does it handle extremely large texts, and even moderately large texts move fairly slowly through the server-side processing. To dowload Range from Paul Nation's website, click here.

Some research studies using the VP/Range are summarized below.