Vocabulary lists

Download vocabulary lists of useful words and phrases and quickly learn to speak in foreign languages.

Survival vocabulary lists

These survival vocabulary lists include useful words and expressions for someone who is going to spend time in another country and wants to quickly learn to greet and thank people, go shopping, travel, and deal with common problems in the local language.

It takes around a total of four hours of using bilingual word cards to learn most of this vocabulary for a particular language. For advice on learning the vocabulary, read Nation, P., & Crabbe, D. (1991). A survival language learning syllabus for foreign travel. System, 19(3), 191-201.

The BNC/COCA headword lists

The BNC/COCA headword lists contain the headwords from the 25,000 BNC/COCA word families that come with the Range program. The first 2,000 or 3,000 words of the BNC/COCA lists are an alternative to the General Service List. Find out more about the BNC/COCA headword lists.

The General Service List

Michael West's General Service List, the classic word list of the most useful 2,000 words of English, is now out of print. The following list contains the headwords of Michael West’s General Service List.

The CEFR levels, word parts and vocabulary sizes

The Council of Europe Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR) is a series of six levels used as a common standard to describe the proficiency levels of learners of foreign or second languages. In the document below, I attempt to relate the CEFR levels to vocabulary sizes and word family sizes (i.e., how many word families a learner knows and the affixes which would be likely to occur in these families).