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Boyoung Kang
30 July 2015
Artifact #3
High Frequency Word Lists
(Teaching English through Film)
This artifact is acquired in Teaching English through Film which is one of TESOL
workshop classes. There are 2,000 high frequency English words from A to Z. On account of
many pages of word lists, only part of it is attached. Appendix 1 of Teaching Vocabulary:
Strategies and Techniques presents the whole list of high frequency words.

New Ideas, Information, or Awareness

More than 80% of words in written texts and over 90% of running words in conversations
are from the most frequent 2,000 words of English (Nation, 2008). This statement definitely tells
how important it is to teach 2,000 high frequency words at the very beginning to English learners.
When teaching any subject areas of English such as reading, listening, writing, and speaking,
these high frequency words should be the focus.
Cummins's distinction between basic interpersonal communicative skills (BICS) and
cognitive/academic language proficiency (CALP) also might verify the importance of learning
high frequency words in English. Vocabulary used in BICS consists of high frequency words in
general meanings (Lems & Miller, 2010). In other words, gaining high frequency words
accelerates the improvement of communicative skills. Therefore, it would be good for ESL
students to learn high frequency words, so that they can easily transition into learning BICS.

This artifact provides a guideline for teachers when they decide what to teach for target
expressions in a lesson. For example, in a reading class, if there are many words that students
need to know in paragraphs, it is necessary for teachers to set priorities of words based on the
high frequency word lists. One of assignments in Teaching English through Film was to make a
lesson plan using a video clip. The instructor asked that we focus on the high frequency word list
as a teaching point because there are many unnecessary words that students do not really need to
know. The artifact helped me choose the video clip which contained as many high frequency
words as possible and make exercises on the basis of the words that students can study from.
In teaching vocabulary, this artifact should be considered the first priority in ESL and
EFL classes. Knowing how helpful and useful it is, I would like to teach the high frequency word
lists in my future class. For instance, if I were to teach about reading skills, I would teach words
from the high frequency word lists, so that the students are able to understand the context better.

Works Cited

Lems, K., & Miller, L. (2010). Teaching reading to English language learners: Insights from
linguistics. New York: Guilford Press.
Nation, I. (2008). Teaching vocabulary: Strategies and techniques. Boston, MA: Heinle.