A Frequency Dictionary of Spanish: Core Vocabulary for Learners, by Mark Davies

Frequency Dictionary Image

Useful, Readable, Affordable

Also editions available in other languages: A Frequency Dictionary of … French / German / Arabic / Japanese / Mandarin Chinese / etc. (Routledge Frequency Dictionaries)

What It’s About: The top 5,000 words in the language, based on a corpus of millions of words from many sources. It offers glimpses into how the language is used. It is easily accessible and intuitive to use. We can use it to make sure we are teaching with the high frequency words that students need to communicate.

Quotable Quotes: “There is a growing consensus that frequency information has a role to play in language learning. Data derived from corpora allows the frequency of individual words and phrases in a language to be determined. That information may then be incorporated into language learning.”

“What is the value of a frequency dictionary for language teachers and learners? Why not simply rely on the vocabulary lists in a course textbook? The short answer is that although a typical textbook provides some thematically-related vocabulary in each chapter, there is almost never any indication of which of these words the student is most likely to encounter in actual conversation or texts.”

Bonus Points for: Showing us that the nouns associated with the clothing unit are not nearly as valuable for students to acquire as the verbs that are used with clothing. I wasted a lot of time teaching lists of nouns and students couldn’t use verbs to explain themselves.

An image that sums up this book is: A pyramid of words tipped with gold—those are the high-frequency words in the language: the most valuable words for a teacher to use and a learner to acquire.

Read This Book If… You want to help your students by purposefully using the high frequency vocabulary they really need.