What is technicality? A Technicality Analysis Model for EAP vocabulary

Ha, Althea Ying Ho and Hyland, Ken (2017) What is technicality? A Technicality Analysis Model for EAP vocabulary. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 28. pp. 35-49. ISSN 1475-1585

[thumbnail of Accepted Manuscript]
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (547kB) | Preview


The identification of technical words for teaching discipline-specific EAP courses remains a problem for materials designers and teachers alike. This study proposes a method that identifies technicality and measures the degree of technicality of a word. The Technicality Analysis Model (TAM) suggests five levels of technicality: least technical, slightly technical, moderately technical, very technical and most technical. In identifying technicality we take four factors into account: 1) both general and specialised senses of a word; (2) the banding of a word in reference word lists; (3) the polysemy of a word; (4) the literal meaning of a word. The set of categorisation criteria is stringent in the sense that even least technical words may have specialised senses in a specific discipline but those senses may be almost the same as the general sense. All words in more technical categories have specialised senses. We trialled the TAM with 837 financial-sector-specific words generated from a 6.7-million-word corpus of financial texts. Results show that with the categorisation criteria in the technicality analysis, every financial-sector-specific word could be categorised into one of the technical word categories. Future research may use the TAM to develop a repertoire of discipline-specific vocabulary for EAP teaching and learning.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: technicality analysis model,specialised vocabulary,technical vocabulary,technicality terminology
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education and Lifelong Learning
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 15 May 2019 13:30
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 21:32
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/71002
DOI: 10.1016/j.jeap.2017.06.003


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item