To get anything to stick in the minds of high school pupils it must be drilled over and over again, now in this form, now in that; it must be heard, must be spoken, must be seen, must be written; and worked over and over again and again; and even then half of it is forgotten from class to class and from year to year.
Vocabulary is the single most important area of L2 competence when learning content through that language.
.. quantities of initial vocabulary can be learned both efficiently and quickly and by methods such as rote learning which are not always considered to be respectable. It may be dangerous to underestimate such a capacity.
Nation and Coady(1988:101)
Indeed the very redundancy or richness of information in a given context which enables a reader to guess an unknown word successfully could also predict that that same reader is less likely to learn the word because he or she was able to comprehend the text without knowing the word.
Nation and Coady
[Learners can] guess between 60% and 80% of the unknown words in a text if the density of unknown words is not too high.
Good learners not only use more strategies, but they rely more heavily on different strategies than the poor learners use.
The role of the dictionary in foreign language teaching is rarely discussed at all in the literature, and if it is, this is done in a rather cursory way.
Similarities and dissimilarities in word forms, along with similarities and dissimilarities in
word meanings, play a major role in how quickly a particular foreign language may be
learned by speakers of another language.
Odlin (1989: 79)
Learners may not always note the formal similarities that mark a cognate relation, and they may not always believe that there is a real cognate relationship.
In my view, it [inferencing] is a comprehension procedure that does not automatically lead to learning, although it has the potential for doing so.
There was no evidence to indicate a consistent ratio between active and passive vocabulary knowledge and the relationship between them has been found to be more complicated than it appears to be.
There is no perfect test and it is necessary to develop a whole range of instruments to address the various purposes for vocabulary assessment".
DeCarrico, J (2001:288-289)
Especially at the beginning levels, the teaching of word lists through word association techniques has proven to be a successful way to learn a large number of words in a short period and retain them over time.
Richards and Renandya (2002:255)
Vocabulary is a core component of language proficiency and provides much of the basis for how well learners speak, listen, read, and write. Without an extensive vocabulary and strategies for acquiring new vocabulary, learners often achieve less than their potential and may be discouraged from making use of language learning opportunities around them such as listening to radio, listening to native speakers, using the language in different context, reading, or watching TV.
This (mnemonics) is an area that has received by far the most attention, so much so that I would even argue that it has turned into a classic case of overkill.
With the exception of a handful of studies in classroom contexts (Fuentes, 1976; Levin, 1979; Willerman & Melvin, 1979), two and a half decades of rigorous experimentation points to a single conclusion that the keyword method is superior to almost all other methods tested (e.g., rote repetition, semantic methods, or placing words in a sentence). These findings are so unanimous that another review here would appear redundant.
Webb (2008: 93)
although the results of the present study might confirm that learners‘ receptive vocabulary size is larger than their productive vocabulary size, it is likely that this relationship varies from group to group.
Unaldi, Bardakci, Akpinar and Dolas (2013: 92)
Using mnemonics to teach/learn new words without any contexts looks like a new fad which is slowly turning into a commercial gimmick .. there are words that are very suitable for mnemonics, but generally their frequencies in the real language in use are really low and the corresponding meanings created in this way are often single and one dimensional.