New General Service List
The New General Service List (NGSL) is a list of approximately 2,800 core vocabulary words published by Dr. Charles Browne, Dr. Brent Culligan and Joseph Phillips in March 2013.
The words in the NGSL represent the most important high frequency words of the English language for second language learners of English and is a major update of Michael West's 1953 GSL. Although there are more than 600,000 word families in the English language, the 2,800 words in the NGSL give more than 90% coverage for learners when trying to read most general texts of English.
The main goals of the NGSL project were to (1) modernize and greatly increase the size of the corpus used, and to (2) create a list of words that provided a higher degree of coverage with fewer words than the original GSL. The 273-million-word subsection of the more than two-billion-word Cambridge English Corpus is about 100 times larger than the 2.5 million word corpus developed in the 1930s for the original GSL, and the approximately 2,800 words in the NGSL gives about 6% more coverage than the GSL (90% vs 84%) when both lists are lemmatized.
Copies of the NGSL in various forms (by headword, lemmatized, with definitions), published articles about the list and links to analytical tools and materials that use the NGSL are all available from the NGSL website.