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Volume 6 Number 3, Autumn 2009, Pages 1-401   

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Studying Lexical Input from English Textbooks for Primary and Junior Secondary Students in Hong Kong

    Eunice Tang

This paper reports a study on English textbooks which serve as the major source of lexical input for acquisition in an ESL setting. A corpus of English words available for acquisition in the major local English textbooks for primary and junior secondary school students was compiled to generate textbook frequency lists in order to find out the richness and nature of lexical input. The lexical variation (type-token) ratio was calculated, using WordSmith Tools (Scott, 1998). The textbook word lists were then compared with General Service List (West, 1953), VocabProfile (Nation, 1996) and Academic Word List (Coxhead, 1998) to determine the nature of words that Hong Kong students encounter after nine years of English learning. Results have shown that the Hong Kong students are exposed to an impoverished lexical environment which is reflected by the lexical variation ratio, nature of vocabulary, and variety of words.

Keywords: lexical input, English textbooks