Using the Academic Word List

This site will help you expand your academic vocabulary using the Academic Word List (the AWL). All students, home students and overseas students, need to learn the technical vocabulary of their field. As learners of English preparing for academic study you also need to learn general academic vocabulary, words such as: feature, illustrate, regulate, strategy. This core academic vocabulary is used by writers in many different subject areas. Learning vocabulary from the AWL will help you improve your comprehension of academic texts. It will also help you write assignments in an academic style.

Of course the basic vocabulary of English is also important for academic learners. To check if you know this basic vocabulary, look at Word Lists.


The website has some interesting tools such as the AWL Highlighter:

The AWL Highlighter

This program will identify core academic vocabulary in a text, using the Academic Word List. Type or paste your text into the box below. Select the sublist level you want to use. In this program each level includes all the previous levels i.e. level 5 includes levels 1 to 4 as well. Click on submit. The text will be returned as a new web page with words from the Academic Word List, at the levels selected, highlighted in bold type.


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