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Abstract: Wojtalewicz

           The expanding field of corpus linguistics has been providing researchers and educators with valuable tools for examining language use and acquisition.  Among these relatively new linguistic resources are online lexical profiling programs which categorize the words in a given text, such as a writing sample, into various frequency bands and assign each word a specific color accordingly.   In this way, a writer's "lexical stretch" can be determined, meaning the range of vocabulary produced across high- to low-frequency bands.  With the insight gleaned from lexical profiles, instructors can better assess their students’ vocabulary development and design lesson plans targeted to their learners’ needs. This applies equally to English language learners and native English speakers.   Compared to traditional qualitative or intuition-based approaches, corpus-based analysis allows for a more objective, quantifiable assessment of vocabulary knowledge as demonstrated through writing.  This evaluation is particularly critical for learners who fall behind in vocabulary acquisition as they proceed through school.  In cases like these, early identification and intervention are crucial for providing learners with the rich vocabulary needed for academic success.  Despite their tremendous benefits, the lexical profiling tools currently available have some limitations.  They are most appropriate for children in primary grades or for adult learners, due to the corpora on which these programs are based.  To begin addressing this gap, my research involves compiling a corpus of words which learners encounter in textbooks and literature in Grades 4-6.  This corpus will form the basis for a new lexical profiling tool for upper elementary learners.