Wow, complicated title. I hope you understood. The title means: Most Important words in English. If you didn’t understand, it was probably the word fundamental or proficiency that caused you a problem.

Here is the point. Studies have identified the most important English words that ESL students should learn in order to have the best proficiency. Why waste your time randomly learning words when some are obviously more popular than others? Exactly. So, Michael West’s General Service List (GSL) from 1959 should give you a head-start in to learn the words that are most important. West researched and outlined the 2000 most important words for understanding 90-95% of spoken and 80-85% of common writing. Next, Averil Coxhead’s Academic Word List (AWL) contains 570 words and was recently recommended as the best secondary vocabulary list next to GSL. AWL is adapted to University level study.

These two wordlists can both be downloaded here:

GSL
GSL SITE: http://www.newgeneralservicelist.org/ (download at the top left)
GSL .xls: http://www.newgeneralservicelist.org/s/NGSL-Headwords-and-Definitions-byFreq.xls
GSL pdf file: http://www.kufs.ac.jp/nishiko/SELHi/pdf/H17_ReferenceData.pdf

AWL
AWL pdf version: http://www.englishcompanion.com/pdfDocs/acvocabulary2.pdf
AWL another pdf version: http://www.cal.org/create/conferences/2012/pdfs/handout-4-vaughn-reutebuch-cortez.pdf

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