2000 年 2001 巻 33 号 p. 73-86
The Course of Study for Lower Secondary School Foreign Languages, which was revised in 1958, designated that 520 English words be included in the textbooks for junior high schools. This “compulsory vocabulary” has been criticized because the selection criterion was not clearly stated in the Course of Study.
The purpose of this study, therefore, is to investigate the origin of the “compulsory vocabulary” through historical and statistical analyses.
Vocabulary items for teaching purposes were traditionally selected in the following four manners :
1) Objective selection based on frequency counts of words
(e.g. Thorndike's Teacher's Word Book)
2) Subjective selection based on philosophical analyses
(e.g. Ogden's Basic English)
3) Empirical selection based on the intuition of experienced teachers
(e.g. Palmer's The first 600 English Words)
4) Eclectic selection based on textbook-range counts
(e.g. Inamura and Torii's Indispensable Words)
From the comparison of the “compulsory vocabulary” with the previously published lists, it has been concluded that the compulsory list consists of widerange words used in many varying English textbooks published in Japan, as well as fundamental classroom vocabulary.