Developing of a High Frequency Word List in Social Sciences

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Sorawut Chanasattru Supong Tangkiengsirisin


This study aimed to develop a high frequency content word list discovered in social science research articles, henceforth referred to as the Social Science Word List (SSWL) from the Social Science Corpus (SSC). The SSC was compiled from 64 open-access English social science research papers from 11 journals in the General Category, published during 2013 2015 on the ScienceDirect website. AntWordProfiler 1.4.0 and AntConc 3.4.3 were employed to calculate the ranges and frequencies of words occurring in the social science corpus, in comparison with the New General Service List (NGSL) and the Academic Word List (AWL). By using Coxhead’s range and word frequency criteria, the results revealed that 394 high frequency content headwords and 1,120 word members were obtained. The validation results corroborated that the SSWL can assist teachers in selecting appropriate words. Also, the SSWL is worth introducing to students to familiarize them with essential words for the reading and writing of social science research papers in vocabulary pedagogy, as it exhibits twice the coverage of the AWL in the validating corpora.

Keywords: Corpus, corpus-based lexical study, high frequency social science word list, word list


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Author Biographies

Sorawut Chanasattru

Sorawut Chanasattru obtained his bachelor’s degree in business administration with second-class honors from Kasetsart University and graduated with a master’s degree in English for Careers from the Language Institute, Thammasat University. Currently, he works as a personnel officer and international relations officer at The Graduate School, Kasetsart University. Mr. Chanasattru can be reached at 081-580-3901 or E-mail:

Supong Tangkiengsirisin

Supong Tangkiengsirisin teaches at the Language Institute of Thammasat University. He specializes in teacher training in Thai contexts with a focus on English teachers’ language skills and professional development for primary and secondary education. His research interests focus on second language writing, written discourse analysis, and corpus-based analysis. He has developed a number of teaching materials and textbooks for academic English and ESP courses for university students.