What Types of Vocabulary Do Students Learn? A Computer-assisted Study of EFL Textbooks


  • Nasreen Bibi English Language Institute, Jazan University, Al Maarefah Road, Jazan, Saudi Arabia
  • Samina Hayat English Language Institute, Jazan University, Al Maarefah Road, Jazan, Saudi Arabia
  • Abdul Aleem Yahya University of Education, Lahore https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6001-2466




Corpus Studies, ESL, Lexical Clusters, BNC


There has been an increase in research based on corpus analysis, especially in the field of teaching English to foreign language students. Such research covers aspects like grammar, syntax, morphology, semantics, and pragmatics in a broader sense. However, corpus studies on vocabulary are limited, and the need to work on them has increased in the last decade. Vocabulary is essential in learning and teaching any second language to English as a foreign language (EFL) classes. This study aims to thoroughly analyze vocabulary in three textbooks through a corpus analysis tool that is used to teach English as a foreign language to level 1, level 2, and diploma-taking students at a college in Saudi Arabia. Vocabulary is scrutinized through AntConC (1.4.0), a freeware program that uses statistical algorithms to provide visualizations of word frequencies, lexical clusters, and keywords. The results can be seen in the form of lists, tables, or charts to help you understand and draw conclusions. This selected corpus contains 163,716 word tokens. After statistical analysis of these words, English language teachers (ELTs) will understand what type of vocabulary is important for students for a particular level. It will also tell whether the vocabulary used in these textbooks is the correct representation of academic words when compared to baby BNC. Moreover, the study will provide insight to academicians, language teachers, and curriculum designers on what type of vocabulary is suitable for developing reading, writing, listening, or speaking skills according to the needs and levels of students.

Author Biographies

Nasreen Bibi, English Language Institute, Jazan University, Al Maarefah Road, Jazan, Saudi Arabia

Nasreen BiBi, English Language Institute, Jazan University, Al Maarefah Road, Jazan, Saudi Arabia. Tel: +966 53 324 9728 E-mail: nfayyaz@jazanu.edu.sa; nqurashi91@gmail.com

Samina Hayat, English Language Institute, Jazan University, Al Maarefah Road, Jazan, Saudi Arabia

Samina Hayat, English Language Institute, Jazan University, Al Maarefah Road, Jazan, Saudi, Arabia. Tel: +966 59 173 1939 E-mail: shmuhammad@jazanu.edu.sa; samina.jan16@gmail.com

Abdul Aleem Yahya, University of Education, Lahore

Abdul Aleem Yahya is working as a lecturer at the University of Education, Multan Campus, Pakistan, since 2021. He has worked with various institutions and students of diverse backgrounds. His research interests include topics related to cognitive linguistics, language psychology, and teaching of English as a second language.


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How to Cite

Bibi, N., Hayat, S., & Yahya, A. A. (2024). What Types of Vocabulary Do Students Learn? A Computer-assisted Study of EFL Textbooks. AsiaCALL Online Journal, 15(1), 117–128. https://doi.org/10.54855/acoj.241518

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