Word Lists
  • General Service List (GSL) | The most frequent 2000+ words in English, ordered by frequency of occurrence as found in the Brown Corpus of Standard American English
  • Ogden's Basic English | A list of 850 words with which the concepts of 90% of all other English words can be explained (that is, according to its developer, Charles K. Ogden). Wiktionary has also published the list with links to definitions.
  • VOA's Special English | Some 1500 core vocabulary words that the Voice of America uses to broadcast in what they call "Special English."
  • The Oxford 3000 wordlist| The 3000 most important and useful keywords to study and know for ESL students (that is, according to Oxford University Press)
  • Academic Word List (AWL) < Massey University | The most frequent words and word families in academic English not found in the GSL
  • Browse More Word Lists <
  • Academic Word List Concordancer < Edict Virtual Language Center | Concordances of the words from the AWL as found in the Brown Corpus of Standard American English
  • Academic Phrasebank < University of Manchester | Useful academic phrases for doing different things in your writing

Exercises & Activities


Read, Listen, and Learn Vocabulary
  • News Words < Learning English < BBC | (more info)
  • London Life < Learning English < BBC | (more info)
  • Weekender < Learning English < BBC | (more info)
  • | Read articles from the Voice of America. They have been marked for difficulty and each has a list of new words. Every word in the articles has been linked to a dictionary, and this site maintains a list of the words you've been looking up so that you can go back and review them || (more info)
  • SAT Vocabulary Novels < | Novels written to showcase the 1000 top words tested on the Scholastic Aptitude Test.
  • ESL Notes | The English learner movie guides | Learn vocabulary by reading synopses of movies written specifically for ESL students. Each synopsis has underlined key vocabulary. | (more info)

Vocabulary Podcasts

Word Trivia

Business English Lexis | Mike Nelson | (more info)
Compleat Lexical Tutor | (more info)