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The home of The Bare Naked Lexis



Welcome to the new home for the Bare Naked Lexis project--the wiki for researchers interested in the critical lexical mass for learners of English as a foreign language.

Vocabulary profiling web-based tools

  1. - The Compleat Lexical Tutor...a great site for data-driven learning resources, also has a powerful vocabulary profiler
  2. - the Vocabulary Profiler in CLT which gives a complete vocbulary profile using the six BNL sublists

Concordance software

  1. - Freeware concordance program
  2. - Commerical concordance program that can produce web-based concordances, inter alia. See as an example of the web output.

The Bare Naked Lexis

The home of BNL
In keeping with the concept of the open source philosophy, we have made the BNL available in this wiki.
  • You are welcome to download and use the lists for research and educational purposes.
  • The lists are available in a printed format. Please contact Steve or Ali if you're interested.

Why Bare Naked Lexis?

The BNL represents the bare essentials of lexis. Every student learning English must master the use of these words in order to become proficient in English.
  1. The BNL consists of six graded lists of headwords together with associated family words. These lists are not static, rather they exist in a wiki environment, so they are dynamic.
  2. In order to keep the lists up-to-date and error free, we invite your contributions.
  3. When you make any improvements to the lists, e.g. additional word forms, UK/US spelling, etc., please update the lists here.
  4. If you are interested in a detailed description of how the BNL was created, and why it is better than the old GSL (K1, K2) and AWL split, read the BNL Rationale.

Beyond the Bare Naked Lexis

We will also be including lists of lexis according to specialist needs-English for Specific Purposes (ESP).
  1. These can be used in conjuction with BNL for discipline specific vocabulary profiling.
  2. Should you use BNL to filter the English for general and academic purposes (EGAP) from discipline specific corpora and define an ESP commonly used set of words, please share them with the community. Thanks!

The Critical Lexical Mass

The following links lead you to separate pages for each BNL level and includes the complete word lists defined by the BNL in a format that can be used with Paul Nation's RANGE software, which is freely downloadable. See the RANGE user manual for a description of the format.
  1. The rationale for developing the BNL resulted from the need of students studying English at preparatory programmes for English-medium universities in non-English speaking countries.
  2. The initial focus of development was in the Turkish-speaking republic of North Cyprus.
  3. The lists comprise 2,709 headwords, which represent the critical lexical mass that a student needs to master in order to have a good chance at attaining a level of proficiency in English to function in an academic context without undue stress or struggle.
  4. The BNL defines the minimum EGAP lexical threshold--the critical lexical mass--the text coverage provided by the BNL exceeds 90% of any academic text or corpora, before excluding tokens that are proper nouns, acronyms or abbreviations. When these are removed from the equation, the BNL approachs text coverage between 92 and 94 per cent.
  • This can be used to define the most common ESP lexis in any given discipline.
  • Initial research indicates that an additional 200 word families in the ESP realm of a discipline will cover over 95 percent of the tokens in the corpora of texts for that discipline.

The lists

  1. The lists are available in printed form, with Turkish translations of the main meanings of the headword in each word family.
oIn order to use the lists with Nation's RANGE software:
  1. edit the page of the list
  2. highlight and copy the contents
  3. paste into Notepad and save as basewrd#.txt (Where # is the number of the BNL list) in the same folder as RANGE.EXE.
  1. The lists in this wiki do not include any translations.
  2. A provisional list of words is under study to see if they warrant inclusion in the most commonly used word lists of BNL.

ESP lists

Tourism and Hospitality Management

under development

Other lists available on the Internet

These are static and downloadable only, e.g.
  1. Bauman's 1995 updated version of the GSL,
  2. the GSL and AWL lists in the Compleat Lexical Tutor site,
  3. lists of Word Frequencies in Written and Spoken English in the BNC,
  4. the scanned original of the GSL,
  5. lists in TXT format for use in RANGE downloadable from Paul Nation's web site.
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