Lexical Tutor > Tutorial Guide (Original - about 2005 but still relevant)

You can use this site to expand your English vocabulary systematically (and your French vocabulary too). The site has a set of diagnostic vocabulary tests, and a corresponding set of vocabulary lists linked to concordance, dictionary, and quizzes to help you explore the nuances of form, meaning, and collocation of the words on these lists. Here's one way to proceed:

  • Test yourself to determine your next zone of vocabulary growth. Start with either the Classic (GSL+UWL) or BNC (1-14k) word recognition tests (GSL=General Service List; UWL=University Word List; BNC = British National Corpus).
  • Go to the Learn from Lists pages and find the level which you are weak on either the same scheme you chose for your test.
  • Work your way through the list with the aid of the dictionary and concordance. Develop an approach that suits you--make notes, cut and paste examples and definitions to the Group Lex Database provided, or a spreadsheet on your own computer. Also, a set of progress tests is linked to the the 2000 and UWL lists at roughly 250-word intervals.

  • If you do not like learning from lists, or want to learn more about new words by meeting them in other contexts, then you can paste complete authentic texts into VP Cloze, which will make you exercises for words from the frequency band you are working on.

  • Or, if you want to work outside the frequency framework altogether, but not entirely independently, then you can read a novel  (Jack London's Call of the Wild or de Maupassant's Boule de Suif) with full click-on lexical support.  - or make your own resource-supported texts at Hypertext Builder

The 1000, 2000, and University/Academic Word Lists contain words you need to know - read the research page to learn why.