First Advisor

Lynn Santelmann

Term of Graduation

Spring 2020

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages


Applied Linguistics




Corpora (Linguistics) -- Design, Vocabulary, Computer science



Physical Description

1 online resource (ix, 257 pages)


This thesis documents the development of the Computer Science Academic Vocabulary List (CSAVL), a pedagogical tool intended for use by English-for-specific-purpose educators and material developers. A 3.5-million-word corpus of academic computer science textbooks and journal articles was developed in order to produce the CSAVL. This study draws on the improved methodologies used in the creation of recent lemma-based word lists such as the Academic Vocabulary List (AVL) and the Medical Academic Vocabulary List (MAVL), which take into account the discipline-specific meanings of academic vocabulary. The CSAVL provides specific information for each entry, including part of speech and CS-specific meanings in order to provide users with clues as to how each item is used within the context of academic CS. Based on the comparative analyses performed in this study, the CSAVL was found to be a more efficient tool for reaching an minimal level of academic CS reading comprehension than the widely-used Academic Word List (AWL), or the combination of the AWL with the Computer Science Word List (CSWL). Through coverage tests performed on a variety of corpora, CSAVL was shown to be representative of the written language of academic computer science and focused on the lemmas that are the most relevant to the context of written academic CS.


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