The New General Service List (NGSL)

In March of 2013, on the 60th anniversary of West’s publication of the GSL, Dr. Brent Culligan & Joseph Phillips of Aoyama Gakuin Women’s Junior College and Dr. Charles Browne of Meiji Gakuin University announced the creation of a New General Service List (NGSL), one that is based on a carefully selected 273 million-word subsection of the 2 billion word Cambridge English Corpus (CEC). They tried to combine the strong objective scientific principles of corpus and vocabulary list creation with useful pedagogic insights to create a list of approximately 2800 high frequency words which meet the following goals:

  1. to update and greatly expand the size of  the corpus used (273 million words compared to the  2.5 million word corpus behind the original GSL), with the hope of increasing the generalizability and validity of the list
  2. to create a list of the most important high-frequency words useful for second language learners of English, ones which gives the highest possible coverage of English texts with the fewest words possible.
  3. to make a NGSL that is based on a clearer definition of what constitutes a word
  4. to be a starting point for discussion among interested scholars and teachers around the world, with the goal of updating and revising the list based on this input (in much the same way that West did with the original GSL)

The chart below gives an indication of the improvement in coverage that the NGSL 1.01 version has over the original GSL when considering each of the words on the list with its associated inflected forms (lemmas):

From: http://www.newgeneralservicelist.org/

A New General Service List 2 (1,001-2,000 in a pdf)

Set 1 – New General Service List 1001-1050 (pdf) 

Set 2 – New General Service List 1051-1100 (pdf)

Set 3 – New General Service List 1101-1150 (pdf)

Set 4 – New General Service List 1151-1200 (pdf)

Set 5 – New General Service List 1,201-1,250 (pdf)

Set 6 – New General Service List 1251-1300 (pdf)

Set 7 – New General Service List 1301-1350 (pdf)

Set 8 – New General Service List 1351-1400 (pdf)

Set 9 – New General Service List 1401-1450 (pdf)

Set 10 – New General Service List 1451-1500 (pdf)

A New General Service List 3 (2,001-2,801 in a pdf)

Set 1 – New General Service List 2001-2050 (pdf)

Set 2 – New General Service List 2051-2100 (pdf)

Set 3 – New General Service List 2101-2150 (pdf)

Set 4 – New General Service List 2151-2200 (pdf)

Set 5 – New General Service List 2201-2250 (pdf)

Set 6 – New General Service List 2251-2300 (pdf)

Set 7 – New General Service List 2301-2350 (pdf)

Set 8 – New General Service List 2351-2400 (pdf)

Set 9 – New General Service List 2401-2450 (pdf)

Set 10 – New General Service List 2451-2500 (pdf)