New General Service List

the most important words for second language learners of English

Home to a wide range of free corpus-based word lists and tools for second language learners developed by Dr. Charles Browne, Dr. Brent Culligan and Joe Phillips.

Charles Browne to give TEDx talk on NGSL

Dr. Browne's talk tonight is titled "Not All Words are Created Equal" and will introduce the audience to the efficiency of the NGSL in helping 2nd language learners forward as well as to the many online NGSL resources.  The event will be streamed live from 6-9:30PM Tokyo time on Oct 10, 2016 via the following link.  The talk can be seen on YouTube here.

Next Vocab@Vic Conference to be held in Japan!

For those of you who missed Vocab@Vic in Dec 2013 (one of the best 2nd language acquitision vocabulary conferences ever held!), I have good news: the next one will be held on Sept 12-14, 2016 at Meiji Gakuin University in downtown Tokyo. We've already set up a website with basic information on the conference with much more to follow soon...

Vocab@Tokyo Conference

NGSL and NAWL now available as courses at

EnglishCentral uses authentic videos and spaced-repetition video flaschards to help contextualize the learning of important high frequency and special purpose vocabulary. Both the NGSL and NAWL word lists were recently added as courses which teachers can assign to their students. Link to the main website is here. The NGSL, NAWL and many other vocabulary centered courses can be found by using the "Browse/Course" pulldown and looking at the vocabulary courses listed in the "Skills" section

Link to the NGSL course at EnglishCentral

NGSL and NAWL to be presented at Extensive Reading Conference in Taiwan

Thu I am off to Taiwan to give my second conference keynote in 2 weeks, this time at an Extensive Reading Conference held at Feng Chia University. I will be speaking on the symbiosis between the intentional learning of high frequency vocabulary via flashcards and the incidental learning that occurs via graded extensive reading. Big thanks to Michael McCollister for arranging this!

ER Conference at Feng Chia University

NAWL Course now up on free flashcard site

A big thanks to Dustin Tower at Western Illinois University who noticed that although we put up the NGSL word list on the free flashcard website, we had not yet gotten around to doing the same for NAWL word list. He took it upon himself to use all our free downloads of the list and definitions to make the effort put up the NAWL for everyone to use. Here is the link:


NAWL Course at

NAWL Course at

Japanese version of free NGSL Builder iPhone app released

NGSL Builder 日本語版, the Japanese version of our free NGSL iPhone app, was just released this morning. It is a simple, spaced-repetition flashcard app that allows learners to work on the words in 100 word bands by frequency and brings to 8, the number of free flashcard apps we have for you (similar apps in English and Japanese for the old GSL and AWL word lists as well as our new NGSL and NAWL word lists). We are currently working on Android versions with a simple LMS so stay tuned! Link to app in iTunes store is here


NGSL now a part of BeeOasis ER site!

Joe Poulshock's online extensive reading site BeeOasis has now added the ability for students to systematically quiz themselves on NGSL words in 50 word blocks by frequency. Once a 50 word quiz is completed, students are sent an email which lets them know which words they missed and gives them directions on how to make flashcards for further study of those words. Nice idea! 

NAWL now up on Quizlet!

A huge thanks to George Higginbotham for working so hard to help get our NAWL New Academic Word List ( up on Quizlet. You can now study all 963 NAWL words in 50 word blocks by frequency using Quizlet's flashcards or many word learning games. Nicely done George! The link to the NAWL Quizlet word stacks is here.

NAWL on Quizlet

Free iPhone app for NGSL Now Available

7/4/2014 Celebrate Independence Day by downloading our free NGSL iPhone app. Called "NGSL Builder" the app gives you access to the full list in bands of 100 words which you can email to yourself, gives background and introduction to the list and a fully functional spaced-repetition flashcard system to help you quickly master these important words. Though it doesn't have an LMS (leaner management system) it does have the ability to email flashcard progress to  your teacher. There are also (free) in-app purchases for our other apps (GSL Builder, AWL Builder and NAWL Builder). Enjoy!

NGSL Builder ScreenShot

Plenary Talk on NGSL at ELE Conference in Bangkok

Dr. Browne will do a plenary talk on the NGSL at what looks to be a very important new EFL Conference in Thailand called the Tri-ELE Conference. It is a joint collaboration among three leading ELE institutes of Thailand: Institute for English Language Education, Assumption University (AU-IELE); Faculty of Liberal Arts, Mahidol University (LAMU), and Language Institute, Thammasat University (LITU). He will be doing Featured presentations on the "The New General Service List: Celebrating 60 years of Vocabulary Learning" ( and on "New Horizons in Reading and Vocabulary: Online tools for Research, Teaching & Materials Development". Here is a link to the site:

4 more NGSL Plenaries at Cambridge Day in Taiwan

In late April of 2014, Dr. Browne gave 4 plenaries and 3 teacher training workshops on the NGSL at 2 Cambridge Day events in Taipei and Kaohsiung. Response was enthusiastic and positive and the events were a great success. A big thanks to Cambridge University Press both for the invitation as well as for giving us full access to the Cambridge English Corpus, which is the basis for both the NGSL and NAWL.