At Hiroshima University, online EFL courses dedicated to vocabulary building have been implemented since 2011, targeting approximately 1,000 undergraduate students each year. As reported in Enokida et al. (2018), an original vocabulary list was developed for these courses, consisting of 6,000 essential English words in daily, business, and academic contexts. A Web-Based Training system was also developed to facilitate online vocabulary learning and to manage learner data. The courses have been successfully implemented since the system’s launch in 2011.
This paper reports on a recent update on the vocabulary list that reflects the latest tendency of the students’ English skills at the university over the past nine years. First, each of the 6,000 words on the list was carefully checked, so relatively unimportant words could be excluded from the list. Then, a total of 1,070 new essential words that are not included in the list were collected from five existing vocabulary lists: The New General Service List and the New Academic Word List (Browne et al., 2013a, 2013b), the TOEIC Service List and the Business Service List (Browne et al., 2016a, 2016b), and TOEIC® L & R Official Vocabulary Book (The Institute for International Business Communication, 2019). These words were rated by a team of five experienced FLaRE instructors on a 5-point scale according to the TOEIC® levels. As a result, 264 new words were selected to be included in the updated version of the list. The latest version of the list will be open to the public in the near future.