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Develop Your Academic Vocabulary for Study

Expand your academic English vocabulary and improve your study skills in reading, writing, and listening.

337 enrolled on this course

Enhance your understanding of academic English, guided by leading ELT educators

To succeed in further study, you need a rich vocabulary of words used in academic contexts, though heard less often in daily life.

On this three-week course, delivered by Madelize Bekker, an expert in English Language Teaching (ELT), you’ll develop your spoken and written academic vocabulary and gain a headstart in your further studies.

Learn the meaning, form, and use of the first 180 words of the Academic Word List

The Academic Word List contains 570 words commonly used in general, rather than subject-specific, academic contexts. They are useful for learners interested in any subject.

On this course, you’ll be introduced to the first 180 words on the list. As the most commonly used words, these will help you understand lectures, read course texts, and take part in academic discussions.

Using examples and interactive activities, you’ll be able to recognise these words within your learning and engage more fully in your studies.

Improve your listening skills and English pronunciation

With an accompanying audio clip, you’ll learn how to pronounce every new word and be able to follow spoken lectures and learning content quicker. Each week will contain a speaking activity to help you gain confidence in using your knowledge in spoken contexts.

You’ll create sentences using your newly learned vocabulary and discover strategies for learning, remembering, and putting your learning into practice.

Develop your reading comprehension and formal writing skills in English

Using activities that focus on spelling, word forms, meaning, and use, you’ll ensure that your written work, whether in online discussions, exams, or essays, makes perfect sense.

By the end of this course, you’ll have expanded your academic vocabulary and be confident in using it in spoken and written contexts.


  • Week 1

    AWL Sublist 1

    • Welcome

      Find out what to expect and how to approach this course.

    • Sublist 1 Day 1

      The words we will focus on today are: analyse, economy, income, issue, method, policy, process, require, research, section, structure, vary.

    • Sublist 1 Day 2

      The words we will focus on today are: approach, area, data, define, export, function, identify, individual, proceed, respond, significant, similar.

    • Sublist 1 Day 3

      The words we will focus on today are: assess; benefit; contract; environment; establish; finance; indicate; involve; major; occur; specific; theory.

    • Sublist 1 Day 4

      The words we will focus on today are: assume, consist, evident, factor, formula, labour, legal, percent, period, principle, sector, source.

    • Sublist 1 Day 5

      The words we will focus on today are: authority, available, concept, constitute, context, create, derive, distribute, estimate, interpret, legislate, role.

    • Week 1 in a nutshell

      Let's reflect on our learning.

  • Week 2

    AWL Sublist 2

    • Welcome to Week 2

      Learning vocabulary is like laying a strong foundation for your language learning journey. It is only one of many steps to take but it is essential. Welcome to Week 2 where we will continue to build that strong foundation.

    • Sublist 2 Day 1

      The words we will focus on today, are: acquire, appropriate, commission, conclude, construct, credit, institute, invest, obtain, range, region, strategy.

    • Sublist 2 Day 2

      The words we will focus on today are: chapter, community, computer, design, equate, injure, item, maintain, participate, relevant, reside, select.

    • Sublist 2 Day 3

      The words we will focus on today are: achieve, administrate, culture, distinct, element, final, focus, potential, regulate, resource, seek, text.

    • Sublist 2 Day 4

      The words we will focus on today are: affect, complex, consequent, consume, feature, normal, previous, primary, secure, site, survey, tradition.

    • Sublist 2 Day 5

      The words we will focus on today are: aspect, assist, category, conduct, evaluate, impact, journal, perceive, positive, purchase, restrict, transfer.

    • Week 2 wrap up

      Let's reflect on this week's learning.

  • Week 3

    AWL Sublist 3

    • You've made it to Week 3!

      Brief introduction to the content of Week 3.

    • Sublist 3 Day 1

      The words we will focus on today, are: alternative, contribute, convene, corporate, exclude, initial, partner, react, rely, sex, technical, technology.

    • Sublist 3 Day 2

      The words we will focus on today are: circumstance, comment, component, constant, core, document, ensure, link, minor, proportion, shift, sufficient.

    • Sublist 3 Day 3

      The words we will focus on today are: consent, demonstrate, dominate, emphasis, fund, immigrate, instance, outcome, physical, specify, valid, volume.

    • Sublist 3 Day 4

      The words we will focus on today are: constrain, correspond, criteria, deduce, framework, illustrate, interact, layer, locate, maximise, task, technique.

    • Sublist 3 Day 5

      The words we will focus on today, are: compensate, considerable, coordinate, imply, justify, negate, philosophy, publish, register, remove, scheme, sequence.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the meaning, form, and use of the first 180 words most frequently used in academic texts
  • Produce and recognise the words in an academic context
  • Modify a head word (use other word forms in the word family) to suit a specific context

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for learners who want to improve their academic English vocabulary or formal writing skills. It’s particularly suitable for those wanting to pass exams including IELTS, TOEFL, TOEIC, FCE, CAE, and PTE, or study at an English-medium university, as well as ELT educators who wish to use the Academic Word List with their class.

What software or tools do you need?

You don’t need any specific software or tools to complete this course but we do recommend that you keep a digital or print vocabulary notebook where you note down each new word you learn and where you type/write your practice sentences.

Who will you learn with?

Madelize is a digital teaching and learning solutions enthusiast who believes in the power of lifelong learning and the benefits of multilingualism. Her focus is on creativity, innovation and trust.

Who developed the course?


EduMaxi is a learning solutions consultancy specializing in the planning, design, development, implementation, and evaluation of learning and development solutions across a range of industry sectors.

  • Established

  • Location

    Hamilton, New Zealand

What's included?

This is a premium course. These courses are designed for professionals from specific industries looking to learn with a smaller group of like-minded individuals.

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime

Still want to know more? Check out our FAQs

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

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