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Using English for Academic Purposes: Vocabulary for EAP

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

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Computer(s), Internet access, projector (optional)

Activity Description

The comprehensive guide has readings with some integrated exercises that include an introduction to academic vocabulary, selection, building, learning, and multiple interactive exercises to apply all. Assign students whose goal is transitioning to higher education to work through the guide independently, assign specific parts, or use specific sections in class to prepare students for academic study in college and university. Use the sample exercise when teaching students chart and graph reading skills, either as an introduction or practice activity, with the purpose of learning the types of language used in describing trends, especially in business, as displayed graphically.


  1. Make sure that the site is not blocked at your school before using it with students.
  2. If you would prefer to use an activity other than the one on the types of language used in describing trends, especially in business, as displayed graphically, go through the site’s vocabulary exercises to find one that suits your teaching objectives and to ensure that it is appropriate for your students’ abilities. (Select the Exercises button in the left-hand navigation pane.)
  3. After you choose an activity, complete it yourself in order to plan an introduction to the exercises and anticipate students’ questions and difficulties.
  4. Some exercises run in a new window (or a new tab depending on your settings). Make sure pop-up blocker is disabled or set it to allow pop-ups from this site.
  5. The audio is provided in a variety of formats: RealPlayer (RP), Windows Media Player (WMP), Quicktime Player(QT) or Flash Player (FP). For the exercise you select for students to do, make sure the computer(s) have the appropriate audio player installed.
  6. Java is also required for some of the site’s exercises, so make sure it is installed, too, if the exercise you select requires it.


  1. Visit the Example Web Site above and review with your class all eight graphs and discuss what you see.
  2. Select the drop-down arrow next to each graph. Allow students to read each option and write down their answers (if you choose to use the exercise as a whole-class activity).
  3. Have students compare their answers in pairs or small groups.
  4. Select “Check” at the bottom of the page. Your score will be displayed. Incorrect answers will be indicated by an X.
  5. If your score is not 100 percent, try again and discuss with students why their initial answers were incorrect.
  6. Follow up by having students find on the Internet or in a print publication, such as a business magazine, a similar graph that displays trends. Have them write a sentence describing the chart and present to small groups or the whole class after you have provided feedback on their writing.

Teacher Tips

  • The site is from the United Kingdom, so British English is used (spelling and pronunciation)
  • There are word searches, hangman games, jumble exercises, discover the word exercises, and flashcards. Specific topics of exercises include the following:
    • The Academic Word List
    • Selecting vocabulary to learn (Verbs, Nouns, and Adjectives)
    • Learning Vocabulary (Dictionary use – Pronunciation/sounds, Grammar, Collocations, Meaning, Word Formation, Connotation; Dealing with meaning – translation, definition, relationships, diagrams, context); Remembering and recording vocabulary - organization, pronunciation, spelling, grammar, collocations, frequency, register, formation, relationships; and Dealing with unknown words)
    • General Vocabulary exercises (matching, crossword, and multiple choice exercises on topics in Science and Technology, Business, and Law).

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  • Advanced


Basic Communication

  • (7.2) Demonstrate ability to use critical thinking skills
  • (7.3) Demonstrate ability to use problem-solving skills
  • (7.4) Demonstrate study skills
  • (7.7) Demonstrate the ability to use information and communication technology
  • (7.1) Identify or demonstrate effective skills and practices in accomplishing goals
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.