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VOCABULARY LIST Business English Certificate (BEC) Preliminary BEC Preliminary Wordlist © UCLES 2006 Introduction to the BEC Preliminary Wordlist The BEC Preliminary Wordlist gives teachers a guide to the vocabulary needed when preparing students for the BEC Preliminary examination. Background to the list The BEC Preliminary Vocabulary list was originally developed by Cambridge ESOL in consultation with external consultants to guide item writers who produce materials for the BEC Prel
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    VOCABULARY LIST Business English Certificate (BEC) Preliminary BEC Preliminary Wordlist © UCLES 2006  Introduction to the BEC Preliminary Wordlist The BEC Preliminary Wordlist gives teachers a guide to the vocabulary needed when preparing students for the BEC Preliminary examination. Background to the list The BEC Preliminary Vocabulary list was srcinally developed by Cambridge ESOL in consultation with external consultants to guide item writers who produce materials for the BEC Preliminary examination. It includes vocabulary from the Council of Europe’s Threshold (1990) specification and business-related vocabulary which corpus evidence shows is high frequency. The list covers vocabulary appropriate to this level of English and includes receptive vocabulary (words that the candidate is expected to understand but which is not the focus of a question), and productive vocabulary (words that the candidate needs to know to answer a question). The list does not provide an exhaustive list of all words which appear on BEC Preliminary question papers and candidates should not confine their study of vocabulary to the list alone. How the list is updated Usage of business language can change rapidly, as shown by the growth of email correspondence and associated vocabulary in the last ten years. In order to maintain its currency, the wordlist is updated on an annual basis by the addition and removal of words, using a corpus-based approach. Suggested additions to the wordlist are collated and the frequency of these words is obtained by reference to established corpora (electronic databases). The corpora in question represent receptive and productive language in business and general contexts. The main corpora used for the validation of the BEC Preliminary wordlist are: ã  the Cambridge Learner corpus (CLC) which includes over 20 million words of written learner English at six levels; ã  the British National Corpus (BNC) which includes 100 million words of written and spoken native speaker data, including four million business-oriented words; ã  a web-derived corpus of business-related articles which includes 120,000 words from US and UK business articles. How the list is organised ã   Word sets Some categories of words which a learner at this level might be expected to know are not included in the alphabetical list but appear separately in Appendix 1. These include word sets such as numbers; days of the week; months of the year; countries and languages. ã   Exemplification Example phrases and sentences are given only where words which can be used with different meanings have been restricted in the extent of their usage at BEC Preliminary level. For example, trust is exemplified as it will only be used on a BEC Preliminary paper with the meaning of having confidence in someone or something, and not with the meaning of a financial arrangement (such as trust fund  or trust unit ). ã   Prefixes and suffixes  A list of possible prefixes and suffixes is provided in Appendix 2 and these may be combined with the vocabulary items in the list as appropriate. Unemployment , for example, is not included on the alphabetical list, as it is formed from a word on the list – employ  – in combination with two of the allowable affixes – un  and ment . BEC Preliminary Wordlist 2   © UCLES 2006    Words with an affix which is not included in the appendix appear within the alphabetical list. Reliability , for example, is listed, as the suffix – ity  is not included in Appendix 2, as it is considered to be difficult for this level. ã   Compound words Compound words are not included in the list where both individual words are present and where the meaning of the compound is literal and transparent, eg businessman . A similar approach has been adopted for two-word and hyphenated compounds, for example, leisure centre and hand-made . ã   Multi-word verbs Multi-word verbs are not included in the list if they have a literal meaning and are composed of verbs and particles already in the list. Examples of literal multi-word verbs are come into  and sit down . If the meaning of the verb is not transparent, eg put through , get along , the verb is listed and an example of usage given. ã   Topic Lists  As Business English is considered to be a domain in itself, there are no separate topic lists for BEC Preliminary. Personal Vocabulary  The content of the BEC Preliminary wordlist is unlikely to cover completely the productive vocabulary that may be required by all candidates. Candidates should know the specific lexis they will need to describe themselves, their lives and their work.  Abbreviations  Abbreviations used in the Vocabulary List are: abbrev  abbreviation or acronym adj  adjective adv  adverb  Am Eng   American English Br Eng  British English conj  conjunction det  determiner exclam  exclamation int  interjection n  noun phr v  phrasal verb pl  plural prep  preposition prep phr   prepositional phrase pron  pronoun sing singular v verb Summary of points to be noted ã  The list does not include every word that may appear on a BEC Preliminary paper. ã  The list covers receptive and productive vocabulary. ã  Prefixes and suffixes used at this level appear in an appendix. BEC Preliminary Wordlist 3   © UCLES 2006     A a.m. (before noon)  (adv) abbreviation (n) ability (n) able (adj) ã  able to go   about (adj & prep) ã  The company has about 500 employees. (adj) ã  The report is about share prices. (prep) above  (adj & prep) abroad (adv) absence  (n) absent (adj) accept (v) access  (n & v) accident (n) accommodation (n) accompany (v) according to (prep) account (n) ã  I’d like to open a bank account.   ã  Our company has an account at Transport Solutions.   accountancy (n) accountant  (n) accounting  (n) accounts (n) accuracy  (n) accurate (adj) achieve (v) acknowledge  (v) acquaintance (n) acquire (v) acquisition (n) across (prep) act (v) action  (n) ã  The company has reasons for its actions. ã  Industrial action has affected production. ã  We need to develop an action plan. active (adj)  activity (n) actor (n) actual (adj) ad (abbrev)  (advertisement or advert) adapt (v) add (v) addition (n)   ã  In addition, I’d like to order a new printer. ã  With his experience, he will be a useful addition to the team. additional (adj) address (n & v) ã  Could I have your email address? (n) ã  The MD addressed the conference. (v) adjust (v)  administration (n) administrative (adj)  administrator (n) admire (v) admission (n) ã  Admission to the conference is by ticket only. admit  (v) ã  He admitted there were production problems. ã  This ticket admits two people to the exhibition. adult  (adj & n) advance  (n) ã  Could you let me know in advance? ã  I’d like to make an advance booking. advanced (adj) ã  We need someone with advanced-level word-processing skills. advantage (n) advert (n) advertise (v) advertising  (n) advice  (n) advice note (n) advise (v) aeroplane  (n) affair (n) ã  He had a lot of important affairs to take care of.   affect (v) afford (v) afraid (adj) after (prep) after-sales service (n) afternoon (n) afterwards (adv) again (adv) against (prep) age (n) aged (adj) agency (n) ã  Let’s use an advertising agency. agenda (n) agent (n) BEC Preliminary Wordlist 4 © UCLES 2006  
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