1. Find a text that interests
you. For on-line sources, look at the links
page. Copy and paste, or type it into the AWL
Highlighter; process it and print it. You will see the academic
words highlighted in bold.
2. Read the text through
a couple of times so that you understand the main ideas.
3. Select the academic words
you want to learn. Study them carefully. For example:
"The plans include
planting trees and hedges to protect crops from grazing animals and
Use the context:
- to try to get an idea
of the meaning:
It's necessary to protect crops from erosion, so erosion
has a negative meaning.
- to consider other words
it is used with
erosion is used in the phrase wind erosion
- to consider the grammar
of the word
erosion is used in the singular, with no article, so erosion
is an uncountable noun
4. To see more examples of
the word in different contexts, use an English-English dictionary, for
example try the Cambridge
or use concordance lines.
5. When you feel you have
a good understanding of the academic word and how it is used, create
your own sentence. Use the word in a sentence about yourself, your family,
your country or your studies. For example:
is a problem for the farmers in my region."
6. When you have studied
several words and written your own sentences for them, paste or type
your sentences into the AWL Gapmaker.
Print the gapped sentences, without the key. One week later use these
gapped sentences as an exercise to test yourself.
Alternatively, choose a paragraph
or two from the text to make a gapfill exercise.
You can exchange tests with
your classmates. To make it easier for them, add the key.
7. The AWL Highlighter can
also be used to help you improve your writing. Process an academic essay
you have written. If there are only a few academic words, you will know
that you need to add more. Look at Sublist 1 of the AWL: can you find
a way to add some of the words that you know to your essay?