“Identifying the features of a text is useful in order to determine the most important aspects to teach for English for Specific Purposes. One possible way of doing this is by looking at the vocabulary needed by learners when reading a text. This research specifically examines the vocabulary used in an economics text used by the first-year university students and compares it with another corpus of similar length.
These two corpora have different features. The economics text is by one writer, and is on one general topic—economics—and was written so that it forms a coherent continuous text. The general academic English corpus was made up of 160 two-thousand-word texts by many different writers of diverse topics, across a wide range of academic disciplines. The study compares the two corpora focusing on the following aspects
The extent to which vocabulary differs between the two corpora and its distribution;
The features of the most frequent words;
The low frequency words in GSL compared to the words in economics text;
The pattern of overlapping words;
The distinct features of high and low frequency words;
The collocational behavior of high frequency words;
The characteristics of non-overlapping words;
The effect of reading one specialized text towards the vocabulary load of unrelated
The effect of reading one specialized text towards the vocabulary repetitions;
The effect of reading one specialized text towards the number of technical words;
The Value of corpus studies for ESP course design.
It is apparent that continuous economics text was better for reading and vocabulary learning than the general academic corpus because the economics text had a smaller vocabulary and less very-low-frequency words.