Vocabulary knowledge plays a pivotal role in developing L2 writing, as is evidenced by substantial studies, and the Academic Word List (Coxhead, 2000) has been considered to be one crucial learning target for L2 learners’ academic literacy. However, limited longitudinal research over an academic year has been conducted concerning the topics of academic vocabulary development in writing, or the effect of corpus tools on student’s vocabulary learning. The current longitudinal case study aimed at investigating (a) how students’ academic vocabulary develops over a year in writing, and (b) to what extent corpus tools, among other resources, have effect on students’ development of academic words. The data involved three third-year college students’ writing assignments sampled at seven time points of the academic year, and their responses to follow-up interviews after each assignment. It was found that the three learners exhibited different patterns of development in academic word use in writing and they improved the use of academic words in terms of frequency and accuracy. In addition, it is argued that corpus tools facilitated students’ learning both in academic word use and during the writing process. Pedagogical implications are drawn based on our findings.
Chien Chih Chen, National ChengChi University, Taiwan