WHAT IS CORE VOCABULARY AND WHY DOES IT MATTER?
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If you have ever learned or tried to learn a foreign language you will probably remember trying to learn lists and lists of vocabulary items. Flashcards, sticky notes, parrot learning – there are many ways students try to learn vocabulary and rightly so. Vocabulary is an essential part of any language, but the amount of words in a language can leave even the most motivated learner on the verge of throwing in the towel.
This is where the concept of core vocabulary comes in.
What is core vocabulary?
Core vocabulary is an idea which has been around for ages. Before digital corpora, teams of researchers would look through print corpora and compile lists of words which they thought were the most useful for learners of English. The common number for a list of core vocabulary is 2 000; in other words, there are actually 2,000 word families that learners should know in order to be able to communicate to a high level in English.
How are the core vocabulary chosen?
Frequency is the first criterion; words which are used more often are more useful than words which are not used very often.
However, if a word does not have a high frequency but it is important because it is a unique word which does not have a satisfactory equivalent, it was also included.
Another criterion is simplicity, in that these words are usually used to define other words.
Then, superordinateness must be considered. A word which is a category word is much more useful than a more specific item of that category i.e. tree versus oak.
Core words have clear opposites i.e. happy and sad versus giggle.
Core words have a high number of collocates i.e. start a fight/a career/a rumour versus begin.
Core words combine with other morphemes to create a wide range of new words.
Core words are neutral, in that they are not highly emotive or culture-specific i.e. car versus tuk-tuk.
Finally, core words are found in a range of contexts and are not just specific to one situation.
Where can you find core vocabulary lists?
There are a few sources of core vocabulary floating around. Bear in mind that each one may differ slightly because they are the product of a team of people making decisions on which words to include. There shouldn’t be too many discrepancies considering that they are all claiming to describe the core vocabulary of the language but they may differ here and there.
The Oxford 3000 is one such list and it can be found as a dictionary or an app.
What can we do with core vocabulary lists?
This is the tricky part. Knowing which are the most useful couple of thousand words in a language is a good step in the right direction, but learners still need to learn these words. As a teacher you can use these lists to ensure you are teaching appropriate and useful language in your lessons. This is especially true if you are teaching lower levels as you don’t want to waste time teaching infrequent or uncommon vocabulary. Then, you can make your students aware of these lists so that they can utilise them in their studying as well.
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In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.