In this paper, the development of an original EFL vocabulary list for the undergraduate students at Hiroshima University is reported on, along with the way the list has been utilized in the EFL curriculum there. The Hirodai Standard 6000 Vocabulary List (HiroTan), first developed by the Institute for Foreign Language Research and Education (FLaRE) in 2010, has been used in the new online-based compulsory EFL courses, targeting approximately 1,000 first-year students at the university each year. A total of 6,000 English words that are used in daily, business, and academic contexts were selected, and then divided into two levels: 4,000 for the Standard level and 2,000 for the Advanced level. The list was compiled based on several existing vocabulary lists, such as the Academic Word List (Coxhead, 2000), the JACET 8000 Word List (Aizawa et al., 2005), and two TOEIC®-related word lists (Mizumoto, 2004; Enokida et al, 2008). All the English instructors at FLaRE worked together to write a sample sentence and its Japanese translation for each of the 6,000 entry words. An original WBT (web-based training) system was used to provide learning materials for the online courses, and the list was also made available in printed form.
In the online courses, students are required to learn 3,000 words in the list per semester (15 weeks) and 6,000 per year using the WBT system. Part of the course content is linked to other compulsory, classroom-based EFL courses, so that students can be assisted to consolidate their vocabulary knowledge on a face-to-face basis. Our future plans include: 1) the replacement of the old, Adobe Flash-based WBT system with the new, HTML5-based one, and 2) a major update of the list to include a range of new important words that appear in the latest vocabulary lists, such as the New General Service List and the New Academic Word List (Browne et al., 2013).