AWL (Academic Word List) highlighters are useful tools for academic English study. This tutorial introduces the three most popular ones on the web and shows you how to make the most of them.
The AWL was devised by Averil Coxhead at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. The AWL contains the most common words in written academic English which are not contained in the GSL (General Service List), and covers around 10% of words in written texts The AWL comprises 10 sublists, with 570 word families in total.
The three main highlighters on the web will all highlight words from the AWL. The EAPFoundation.com highlighter is probably the most popular and versatile of the three, not just highlighting the words but separating them into sublists, and allowing for manipulation by changing colour and by creating gapfill exercises for further study. The Lextutor highlighter is also very powerful, though less user-friendly, while the highlighter from Nottingham University, which is the oldest, is rather slow and does not separate into sublists.
For more information on this topic, see the following review:
For the AWL highlighters referred to in the video, see:
(Nottingham University, now discontinued)
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You can get early access to videos as well as additional resources for English for Academic Purposes (EAP).
Other useful links:
(EAPFoundation.com website home page)
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