The Development of Academic Vocabulary in International Foundation Students’ Assessed Academic Writing


  • Dana Therova The Open University



international foundation students, academic vocabulary, academic vocabulary development, academic writing, International Foundation Programme


Despite the extensive research into academic vocabulary in university student writing, little is known about academic vocabulary in international foundationlevel students’ assessed academic writing. Considering that academic vocabulary is regarded as a key element of academic writing style and that written assignment is one of the main forms of assessment in university contexts, this is an important omission. This study addresses the gap by employing a corpus-based approach to investigate the development of academic vocabulary in assessed academic writing produced by international students (N = 193) in a foundation (gateway) program over an academic year in the context of a British university based in England and its overseas campuses in the United Arab Emirates and Mauritius. The findings show an increase in the usage of academic vocabulary over the course of the foundation program and highlight the impact of the assignment topic and brief.

Author Biography

Dana Therova, The Open University

DANA THEROVA, PhD, is an Affiliated Researcher at The Open University. Her main research interest lies in utilising the methodology of corpus linguistics for the investigation of various aspects of academic writing produced by multilingual groups of students in the context of UK higher education with a particular interest in the deployment of academic vocabulary in different genres of academic writing. Email:


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How to Cite

Therova, D. (2021). The Development of Academic Vocabulary in International Foundation Students’ Assessed Academic Writing. Journal of International Students, 12(1), 123–140.



Research Articles (English)