Anealka Aziz, Norwati Roslim


The original General Service List, published in 1953, was a list of words deemed important for the second language learners of English. The list became the main reference by many studies involving the coverage of words that the second language learners needed to know to understand a certain amount of the text. Since it was developed over 60 years ago, a couple of attempts to update the list was initiated. One of the significant attempts resulted in the development of the New General Service List (NGSL) in 2013. The NGSL consists of high-frequency words that the second language learners need to know to understand approximately 92% of most general English language texts. These are the basic words, but where these words stand in the English Vocabulary Profile (EVP) of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) have yet to be confirmed. The study intended to determine the CEFR level of the words listed in the NGSL and determine the relationship between the NGSL and the CEFR levels. A descriptive research design and purposive sampling method were adopted. The findings show that most words in the NGSL are listed in the EVP, and there is an inverse relationship between the coverage of the NGSL and the CEFR levels, thus confirming the NGSL can be used as a comparative measure on how much an L2 learner would understand a certain reading text. Future investigations to include analysis of learners’ comprehension and more sample passages are recommended.


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