Teaching Vocabulary : New General service and Academic Word Lists


 New General Service List

In 1953, Michael West published a remarkable list of several thousand important vocabulary words known as the General Service List (GSL)  which was a list of words representing the most frequent words of English.

In March of 2013, on the 60th anniversary of West’s publication of the GSL, Dr. Brent Culligan & Joseph Phillips of Aoyama Gakuin Women’s Junior College  and Dr. Charles Browne, Meiji Gakuin University announced the creation of a New General Service List (NGSL), one that is based on a carefully selected 273 million-word subsection of the 2 billion word Cambridge English Corpus (CEC)


  1.  New General Service List
  2. Test  of written receptive knowledge of the New General Service List 
  3. Test  of written receptive knowledge of the New General Service List – Three 1000-Word Levels
  4. New General Service List Quizzes on Quizlet by JWHanks
  5. New General Service List Quizzes on Quizlet by  Manjiro
  6. New General Service List on Memrise

 A New Academic Word List

In the same way that Averil Coxhead’s excellent Academic Word List (AWL) was designed to work as  complement to the GSL for students wanting to quickly master both general and academic English.The authors of the NGSL worked to create a New Academic Word List (NAWL) to complement students and teachers working with the NGSL who wanted to learn or teach academic English.

 New Academic Word List

Frequency vocabulary lists  are a smart way to learn vocabulary , Have you ever  taught using frequency vocabulary lists?  How have you used them ? Let us know  by commenting below


Means of Transportation

MEP 9TH Grade


  1. Students are going to be divided  in teams , every class is going to pick a leader which must draw in the whiteboard
  2. The leader of the group  must go in front and draw a picture of a mean of transport and his team of  students need to guess what it is  and say it aloud  before the 30 second lapse is over.
  3. The student with more rights guesses wins


Introduce the vocabulary about the Means of transportation

Ferry, car, bike, truck, propeller plane, jeep, cable car, motorcycle, golf cart, helicopter, hot air, balloon, canoe, train, plane, race car, subway, boat, scooter, skateboard, rocket, submarine, taxi, bullet train, van,  zeppelin, ambulance, tank, camper, catamaran, chopper, train, tow truck, cruiser, delivery truck, glider, garbage truck, kayak , yacht, snow mobile

Introduce this key verbs  with its past form because  students might  find in readings

go, visit, take, plan, go out, travel, drive, ride,fly, buy, run, make.

Introduce the vocabulary of the characteristics of the mean of transportation

popular, slow, comfortable, easy,  fast, modern, traditional, public, useful, expensive, cheap, reliable, timely, safe, crowded

Another vocabulary that might end up being useful for this topic

Stations, stop, catch, get on, journey, depart, leave, arrive, bus terminal, get off , board, driver, arrive, break down, flight, take off, bridge, highway, 

Introduce the degrees of comparison Degrees of comparison

PRACTICE (Reading & Listening)

  • Students can  review vocabulary and play a quizlet game about the means of transportation by clicking here
  • Once  the different means of transportation have been identified successfully by the class. Classify all of the means of tranportation into the following categories: Air transport, Rail transport, Road transport and Sea transport. Teacher and students can review this activity by using the quizlet flashcards

Mean of Transportation (Classification)

  • Students complete a chart with the missing superlatives and comparatives

Superlatives and Comparatives Choose some of these reading  to enhance reading comprehension

You can try any of these activities to ensure the successful vocabulary  of the new vocabulary


  1. Everyday conversations for English learners: Transportation
  2. Trains and Travel
  3. Public Transport

PRODUCTION (Speaking & Writing)

Students can write  comparisons about the means of transportation using the degrees of comparison

  1. a car is more comfortable than a bus
  2. a motorcycle is faster than a bike
  3. _____________________________________________________________
  4. _____________________________________________________________
  5. _____________________________________________________________
  6. ____________________________________________________________

Student will create a dialogue discussing  aspects about the mean of transportation  such as the following and present it in front of the class and teacher

Mike: Hi

John: Hello

Mike: are you going to the beach?

John: Yes I am

Mike: are you taking the bike or the motorcycle?

John: I am taking the motorcycle

Mike: why the motorcycle?

John: I need to be there by  2:00 PM