School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies

Dr Averil Coxhead

Senior Lecturer
School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies

Phone: 04 463 5625
Location: Room 403, Von Zedlitz Building, Kelburn Pde, Kelburn Campus

Dr Averil Coxhead

RSA Cert. TEFL Bournemouth, BA, DipTESL, MA, PhD

Current Research 

Averil is the MA Programme Director and a Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics. She teaches courses on second language learning in the BEdTESOL and the MA in Applied Linguistics/TESOL programs. Averil has taught in New Zealand, England, Estonia, Hungary and Romania.

Selected Publications

Averil Coxhead is the author of Essentials of Teaching Academic Vocabulary (Heinle, 2006) and An Academic Word List (click this link to order a copy of the AWL).

Click here to go to the Academic Word List website

Click here for the pilot EAP Science list (Coxhead & Hirsh, 2007)

Books/Edited Volumes

  • Greene, J. & Coxhead, A. (Feb, 2015). Academic Vocabulary for Middle School Students: Research-Based Lists and Strategies for Key Content Areas.  Baltimore: Brookes Publishing.Book cover Middle School
  • Coxhead, A. (Ed.) (2014).& New ways in teaching vocabulary, revised.  Alexandria, Virginia: TESOL Inc.New Ways 









  • Coxhead, A. (2011). Using vocabulary in writing in a second language: Writing from sources. Koln : LAP Lambert Academic Publishing.
  • Coxhead, A. & Hirsh, D. (2011). TESOL and Applied Language Studies Research by Postgraduate Students in Australia and New Zealand.   University of Sydney Papers in TESOL, 6.
  • Coxhead, A. (2010). Special issue of in honour of Paul Nation. Reading in a foreign language. 22(1): 1-241.
  • Coxhead, A. (2006). Essentials of teaching academic vocabulary. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. (Since 2007 this book is published through Heinle Cengage).
  • Coxhead, A. (1998). An Academic Word List. ELI Occasional Publications #18, School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, Victoria University of Wellington: Wellington.

Chapters in books

  • Elgort, I., & Coxhead, A. (in press).  An introduction to the Vocabulary Size Test: Description, application and evaluation.  In Janna Fox & Vahid Aryadoust (Eds.) Current trends in language testing in the Pacific Rim and the Middle East: Policies, analysis, and diagnosis.  Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 
  • Coxhead, A. & Bytheway, J. (2015). Learning vocabulary using two massive online resources: You will not blink.  In D. Nunan & J. Richards (Eds.) Learning beyond the classroom.
  • Coxhead, A. (2014).  Corpus linguistics and vocabulary teaching:  Perspectives from English for Specific Purposes. In M. Gotti (ed.). Corpus analysis for descriptive and pedagogical purposes (pp. 289-301.  Bern: Peter Lang.
  • Coxhead, A. (2013). Vocabulary and ESP. In B. Paltridge & S. Starfield (Eds.). The Handbook of English for Specific Purposes, pp. 115-132. Boston: Wiley-Blackwell
  • Coxhead, A. (2012). Specialised vocabulary in secondary school classrooms: Teachers’ perspectives. RELC Anthologies.
  • Coxhead, A. and Byrd, P. (2012).  Collocations and Academic Word List: The strong, the weak and the lonely.   In I. Moskowich and B. Crespo (Eds.) Encoding the Past, Decoding The Future: Corpora in the 21st Century (pp. 1-20).  Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • Coxhead, A. (2010). What can corpora tell us about English for Academic Purposes? In A. O'Keefe; M. McCarthy (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of Corpus Linguistics, (pp. 458-470).  Oxford: Routledge. 
  • Coxhead, A. (2008). The best practice is practice. In A, Jendli, C. Coombe (Eds.), Best practice in English language teaching (pp. 3 - 14). TESOL Arabia: Dubai, UAE.
  • Coxhead, A., Hunter, J., Pierard, J. and Cooke, D. (2008). Cultural context and academic context. What difference do they make in EAP students? in A. Burns & J. Burton (Eds.), Language teacher research in Australia and New Zealand. Alexandria, Virginia: TESOL.
  • Coxhead, A. (2008). Phraseology and English for Academic Purposes: Challenges and Opportunities. In F. Meunier and S. Granger (Eds.), Phraseology in language learning and teaching (pp. 149-161). Amsterdam. John Benjamins.

Journal articles

  • Coxhead, A., Nation, P. & Sim, D. (2014).  Creating and trialling six forms of the Vocabulary Size Test.  TESOLANZ Journal, 22: 13-26.
  • Nation, P. and Coxhead, A.  (2014). Vocabulary size research at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.  Language Teaching, 47(3): 398 – 403.
  • Boers, F., Demecheleer, M., Coxhead, A, and Webb, S. (2014).  Gauging the effectiveness of exercises on verb-noun collocations.  Language Teaching Research, 18 (1): 50 - 70.
  • Coxhead, A. & White, R. (2012).  Building a corpus of secondary school texts: First you have to catch the rabbit.  New Zealand Studies in Applied Linguistics, 18(2): 67-73. 
  • Coxhead, A. (2012).  Researching vocabulary in secondary school English texts: The Hunger Games and more.  English in Aotearoa, October: 34-41.
  • Coxhead, A. & Walls, R.  (2012). TED Talks, vocabulary, and listening for EAP.  TESOLANZ Journal, 20: 55-67.
  • Coxhead, A. (2012).  Academic vocabulary, writing and English for Academic Purposes: Perspectives from second language learners.  RELC Journal, 43: 137-145.
  • Coxhead, A. (2011). Exploring specialised vocabulary in secondary schools: What difference might subject, experience, year level, and school decile make?  TESOLANZ Journal 19: 37-52.
  • Coxhead, A. (2011). What is the exactly word in English?: Investigating second language vocabulary use in writing.  English Australia, 27(1): 3-17.
  • Coxhead, A. (2011). The Academic Word List ten years on: Research and teaching implications. TESOL Quarterly, 45(2):355 - 362.
  • Coxhead, A., Stevens, L, & Tinkle, J, (2010).  Why might secondary science textbooks be difficult to read?  New Zealand Studies in Applied Linguistics, 16(2): 35-52.
  • Hirsh, D. & Coxhead, A. (2009). Ten ways of focusing on science-specific vocabulary in EAP.; English Australia Journal 25(1): 5-16.
  • Coxhead, A. & Hirsh, D. (2007). A pilot science word list for EAP. Revue Franaise de Linguistique Applique XII (2): 65 - 78.
View all publications by Averil Coxhead

Research Areas

Averil supervises MA and PhD research in the areas of vocabulary use and learning in a second language, with a particular interest in specialised vocabulary, Corpus Linguistics, vocabulary size, English for Academic Purposes and English for Specific Purposes.

Administrative Responsibilities

  • MA Programme Director