Specialized vocabulary across languages: The case of traditional Chinese medicine
PDF

Keywords

corpus analysis
keyword analysis
specialized vocabulary
word lists
Traditional Chinese Medicine

How to Cite

Lu, C., & Coxhead, A. (2023). Specialized vocabulary across languages: The case of traditional Chinese medicine. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 13(1), 179–217. https://doi.org/10.14746/ssllt.31677

Number of views: 346


Number of downloads: 605

Abstract

This paper reports on the creation of specialized word lists in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which is a discipline using vocabulary across languages (i.e., Chinese and English) and involves learners with different L1 backgrounds. First, a TCM Word List of 2,778 specialized words was established from corpora of TCM textbooks and journal articles. Selection criteria included specialized meaning, keyness in a corpus of general written English compared to the TCM Corpora, and frequency. The resulting TCM list covered 36.65% of the TCM Corpora but had low coverage over corpora of general written English and medical English. The TCM Word List was then divided into three sub-lists based on frequency, and graded into three levels. Level 1 contains high-frequency lexical items in English (e.g., organ, coating); Level 2 contains items that are mid-, low-frequency, or beyond any frequency levels (e.g., pericarpium, metabolism); and Level 3 contains Chinese loan words (e.g., qi, yang). Last, there is an overlap of 309 word families between this list and an earlier TCM list by Hsu (2018), which excludes words from the 1st-3rd 1,000 word families in English. Suggestions for teachers and future research are provided.

https://doi.org/10.14746/ssllt.31677
PDF

References

Akbarian, I. H. (2010). The relationship between vocabulary size and depth for ESP/EAP learners. System, 38(3), 391-401. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2010.06.013

Ardasheva, Y., & Tretter, T. R. (2015). Developing science-specific, technical vocabulary of high school newcomer English learners. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 20(3), 1-20. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13670050.2015.1042356

Chung, T. M., & Nation, P. (2003). Technical vocabulary in specialised texts. Reading in a Foreign Language, 15(2), 103-116.

Chung, T. M., & Nation, P. (2004). Identifying technical vocabulary. System, 32(2), 251-263. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2003.11.008

Coxhead, A. (2000). A new academic word list. TESOL Quarterly, 34(2), 213-238. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/3587951

Coxhead, A., & Demecheleer, M. (2018). Investigating the technical vocabulary of Plumbing. English for Specific Purposes, 51, 84-97. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esp.2018.03.006

Coxhead, A., Demecheleer, M., & McLaughlin, E. (2016). The technical vocabualry of Carpentry: Loads, lists and bearings. TESOLANZ Journal, 24, 38-71.

Coxhead, A., & Hirsh, D. (2007). A pilot science-specic word list. Revue Française de Linguistique Appliqueé, 7(2), 65-78. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3917/rfla.122.0065

Dang, T. N. Y. (2018). A Hard Science Spoken Word List. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 169(1), 44-71. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/itl.00006.dan

Dang, T. N. Y. (2019a). High-frequency words in academic spoken English: Corpora and learners. ELT Journal, 74(2), 146-155. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/ccz057

Dang, T. N. Y. (2019b). The potential for learning specialized vocabulary of university lectures and seminars through watching discipline‐related TV programs: Insights from medical corpora. TESOL Quarterly, 54(2), 436-459. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/tesq.552

Dang, T. N. Y., & Webb, S. (2016). Evaluating lists of high-frequency words. ITL - International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 167(2), 132-158. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/itl.167.2.02dan

Dang, T. N. Y., Coxhead, A., & Webb, S. (2017). The Academic Spoken Word List. Language Learning, 67(4), 959-997. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/lang.12253

Davies, M. (2008-). The Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA): 560 million words, 1990-present. http://corpus.byu.edu/coca/

Durrant, P. (2013). Discipline and level specificity in university students’ written vocabulary. Applied Linguistics, 35(3), 328-356. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amt016

Durrant, P. (2016). To what extent is the Academic Vocabulary List relevant to university student writing? English for Specific Purposes, 43, 49-61. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esp.2016.01.004

Evans, S., & Morrison, B. (2011). Meeting the challenges of English-medium higher education: The first-year experience in Hong Kong. English for Specific Purposes, 30(3), 198-208. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esp.2011.01.001

Flowerdew, J., & Miller, L. (1992). Student perceptions, problems and strategies in second language lecture comprehension. RELC Journal, 23, 60-80. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/003368829202300205

Fraser, S. (2009). Breaking down the divisions between general, academic and technical vocabulary: The establishment of a single, discipline-based word list for ESP learners. Hiroshima Studies in Language and Language Education, 12, 151-167.

Gardner, D., & Davies, M. (2014). A new academic vocabulary list. Applied Linguistics, 35(3), 305-327. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amt015

Heatley, A., Nation, P., & Coxhead, A. (2002). Range: A program for the analysis of vocabulary in texts. http://www.vuw.ac.nz/lals/staff/paul-nation/nation.aspx.

Henriksen, B., & Danelund, L. (2015). Studies of Danish L2 learners’ vocabulary knowledge and the lexical richness of their written production in English. In P. Pietilä, K. Doró, & R. Pípalová (Eds.), Lexical issues in L2 writing (pp. 29-56). Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Hirsh, D., & Coxhead, A. (2009). Ten ways of focussing on science-specific vocabulary in EAP. English Australia Journal, 25(1), 5-16.

Hsu, W. H. (2013). Bridging the vocabulary gap for EFL medical undergraduates: The establishment of a medical word list. Language Teaching Research, 17(4), 454-484. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1362168813494121

Hsu, W. (2018). The most frequent BNC/COCA mid- and low-frequency word families in English-medium traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) textbooks. English for Specific Purposes, 51, 98-110. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esp.2018.04.001

Hu, Y.-H., & Fong, Y.-Y. (2010). Obstacles to CM-guided L2 idiom interpretation. In S. D. Knop, F. Boers, & A. D. Rycker (Eds.), Fostering language teaching efficiency through cognitive linguistics (pp. 293-316). DeGruyter. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110245837.293

Hutton, A. R. (2006). An introduction to medical terminology for health care: A self-teaching package. Churchill Livingstone.

Hyland, K. (2016). General and specific EAP. In K. Hyland & P. Shaw (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of English for academic purposes (pp. 17-29). Routledge. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315657455

Hyland, K., & Tse, P. (2007). Is there an “academic vocabulary?” TESOL Quarterly, 41(2), 235-253. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1545-7249.2007.tb00058.x

Laufer, B. (1998). The development of passive and active vocabulary in a second language: Same or different? Applied Linguistics, 19(2), 255-271. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/19.2.255

Laufer, B., & Ravenhorst-Kalovski, G. C. (2010). Lexical threshold revisited: Lexical text coverage, learners’ vocabulary size and reading comprehension. Reading in a Foreign. Language, 22(1), 15-30.

Lei, L., & Liu, D. (2016). A new medical academic word list: A corpus-based study with enhanced methodology. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 22, 42-53. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2016.01.008

Lessard-Clouston, M. (2010). Theology lectures as lexical environments: A case study of technical vocabulary use. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 9(4), 308-321. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2010.09.001

Lin, A., Chan, G., Hu, Y., Ouyang, D., Ung, C., Shi, L., & Hu, H. (2018). Internationalization of traditional Chinese medicine: Current international market, internationalization challenges and prospective suggestions. Chinese Medicine, 13(9), 1-6. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13020-018-0167-z

Lu, C. (2018). Investigating knowledge and use of technical vocabulary in Traditional Chinese Medicine [Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington].

Lu, C., & Coxhead, A. (2020). Vocabulary in Traditional Chinese Medicine: Insights from corpora. ILT-International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 171(1), 34-61. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/itl.18020.lu

Lu, C., & Dang, T. N. Y. (2022). Vocabulary in EAP learning materials: What can we learn from teachers, learners, and corpora? System, 106, 102791. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2022.102791

Lu, C., Boers, F., & Coxhead, A. (2021). Exploring learners’ understanding of technical vocabulary in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 11(1), 71-101. DOI: https://doi.org/10.14746/ssllt.2021.11.1.4

Maciocia, G. (2005). The foundations of Chinese medicine: A comprehensive text for acupuncturists and herbalists (2nd ed.). Elsevier Churchill Livingston.

Malmström, H., Pecorari, D., & Shaw, P. (2018). Words for what? Contrasting university students’ receptive and productive academic vocabulary needs. English for Specific Purposes, 50, 28-39. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esp.2017.11.002

Matthews, J., & Cheng, J. (2015). Recognition of high frequency words from speech as a predictor of L2 listening comprehension. System, 52, 1-13. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2015.04.015

Nation, P. (2007). The four strands. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 1(1), 1-12. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2167/illt039.0

Nation, I. S. P. (2012). The BNC/COCA word family lists. http://www.victoria.ac.nz/lals/about/staff/paul-nation

Nation, P. (2013). Learning vocabulary in another language (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139858656

Nation, P. (2016a). Making and using word lists for language learning and testing. John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Nation, P. (2016b). Hyphenated words and transparent compounds. In P. Nation (Ed.), Making and using word lists for language learning and testing (pp. 65-70). John Benjamins. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/z.208

Nation, I. S. P., & Yamamoto, A. (2012). Applying the four strands. International Journal of Innovation in English Language Teaching and Research, 1(2), 167-181.

Nguyen, C.-D. (2020). Lexical features of reading passages in English-language textbooks for Vietnamese high-school students: Do they foster both content and vocabulary Gain? RELC Journal, 1-14. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0033688219895045

Nguyen, T. M. H., & Webb, S. (2017). Examining second language receptive knowledge of collocation and factors that affect learning. Language Teaching Research, 21(3), 298-320. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1362168816639619

Nurweni, A., & Read, J. (1999). The English vocabulary knowledge of Indonesian university students. English for Specific Purposes, 18(2), 161-175. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0889-4906(98)00005-2

Olmos, C. (2009). An assessment of the vocabulary knowledge of students in the final year of secondary education. Is their vocabulary extensive enough? International Journal of English Studies, 9, 73-90.

Patel, A., & Toossi, V. (2016). Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners in New Zealand: Differences associated with being a practitioner in New Zealand compared to China. NZMJ, 129(1444), 48-55.

Quero, B. (2015). Estimating the vocabulary size of L1 Spanish ESP learners and the vocabulary load of medical textbooks [Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington].

Quero, B., & Coxhead, A. (2018). Using a corpus-based approach to select medical vocabulary for an ESP course: The case for high-frequency vocabulary. In Y. Kirkgöz & K. Dikilitaş (Eds.), Key issues in English for Specific Purposes in higher education (pp. 51-75). Springer. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-70214-8_4

Scott, M. (1997). PC analysis of key words: And key key words. System, 25(2), 233-245. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0346-251X(97)00011-0

Scott, M. (2012). WordSmith tools version 6. Lexical Analysis Software Ltd.

Stæhr, L. S. (2008). Vocabulary size and the skills of listening, reading and writing. Language Learning Journal, 36(2), 139-152. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09571730802389975

Sun, Y., & Dang, T. N. Y. (2020). Vocabulary in high-school EFL textbooks: Texts and learner knowledge. System, 93, 1-13. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2020.102279

Wang, J., Liang, S. L., & Ge, G. C. (2008). Establishment of a Medical Academic Word List. English for Specific Purposes, 27(4). 442-458. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esp.2008.05.003

Webb, S., & Chang, A. C.-S. (2012). Second language vocabulary growth. RELC Journal, 43(1), 113-126. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0033688212439367

West, M. (1953). A general service list of English words. Longman.

Wette, R., & Hawken, S. J. (2016). Measuring gains in an EMP course and the perspectives of language and medical educators as assessors. English for Specific Purposes, 42, 38-49. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esp.2015.11.002

Yang, M.-N. (2015). A nursing academic word list. English for Specific Purposes, 37, 27-38. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esp.2014.05.003