Teachers and students alike realize that strong vocabulary skills are necessary for academic success. Specifically, students need to know the vocabulary they will most frequently encounter in their academic studies in order to successfully complete their reading and writing assignments. The Vocabulary Mastery series teaches students the words they need to know to succeed in their academic work. These words come from the Academic Word List (AWL) developed by Averill Coxhead ["A New Academic Word List," TESOL Quarterly 34, no. 2 (2000): 213-38]. The Academic Word List resulted from Coxhead's analysis of a broad corpus of academic texts—about 3.5 million words—from 414 academic texts in 28 topic areas. Out of this corpus, Coxhead selected the 570 word families that occur most frequently in academic texts. Vocabulary Mastery teaches these word families.
Books in the Vocabulary Mastery series provide students with the vocabulary they will encounter most frequently in their academic endeavors and help to enrich their understanding of a culture. Each volume exposes students to more than 200 different words of the 570-word list, with 90 words specially targeted in each book. Each unit contains three linked readings to promote narrow/intensive reading and activities that check comprehension, teach and reinforce word forms, and practice other strategies for learning the target vocabulary. Writing and critical-thinking exercises are also included.