Paul Nation is a leading language teaching methodology and vocabulary acquisition linguist researcher, mainly for English as a Foreign Language. He has taught in Indonesia, Thailand, the United States, Finland, and Japan. He is a professor in the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Key concepts of his works are frequency vocabulary lists as guidelines to vocabulary acquisition, the learning burden of a word, the need to teach learning strategies to students in order to increase their autonomy in vocabulary expansion for low frequency items, support to extensive reading of accessible texts (≥95-98% of known words), the usefulness of L2→L1 tools (dictionaries, word cards) for their clarity. After the communicative approach of the 80's, his works have been instrumental for second language courses design and current teaching methods, relying mainly on a quick vocabulary acquisition of frequent words. Together with Batia Laufer, James Coady, Norbert Schmitt, Paul Meara, Rebecca Oxford, Michael Swan, his position is linked to Stephen Krashen's Natural approach (emphasis on frequent grammatical and lexical items first) and to the proposed Lexical approach (emphasis on vocabulary) of language teaching. At a larger level, he is also known for supporting the 'four strands' approach to language courses and classes (Taylor 2004, Nation & Newton 2008), with study time devote about 25% to each of :
- input from reading and listening,
- output through writing and speaking,
- study of formal language instruction i.e. grammar and vocabulary, and
- practice for fluency in all four of the basic skills.
- ^ Victory University. School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies. Staff Directory. 
- ^ (Horst 2010, pp. 161)
- ^ (Coady 1997, pp. 1–17)
- Coady, J. (1997), Coady; Huckin, eds., Second Language Vocabulary Acquisition, Cambridge University Press.
- Horst, M. (2010), How well does teacher talk support incidental vocabulary acquisition? 22 (1), Reading in a Foreign Language, pp. 161–180, ISSN 1539-0578
- Taylor, A. (2004), "Review of: Learning Vocabulary in Another Language I: I.S.P. Nation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001, 477 pp. ISBN 0-521-80092-7 hardback, ISBN 0-521-80498-1 paperback", English for Specific Purposes 23 (1), pp. 87–90
- Nation, I.S.P.; Newton, J. (2008), Teaching ESL/EFL Listening and Speaking (1st ed. ed.), Routledge, ISBN 0415989701
- Nation & Carter, 1989. Vocabulary Acquisition.
- Nation, I.S.P. (1997), "Vocabulary size, text coverage, and word lists", in Schmitt; McCarthy, Vocabulary: Description, Acquisition and Pedagogy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 6–19, ISBN 978-0-521-58551-4
- Nation, I.S.P. (2001), Learning Vocabulary in Another Language, Cambridge University Press, p. 477, ISBN 0-521-80498-1
- Nation, I., 2000. Learning vocabulary in lexical sets: dangers and guidelines. TESOL Journal, (9), 6-10.
- Nation, I.S.P. (2006vo), "Vocabulary: Second Language", Encyclopedia of Language & Linguistics, Oxford, pp. 448–54 .
- Nation, I.S.P. (2006la), "Language Education - Vocabulary", Encyclopedia of Language & Linguistics, Oxford, pp. 494–499 .