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date: 19 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes some of the challenges that learners face when they wish to build a sizeable vocabulary in a second language and discusses proposals for helping learners meet those challenges. These proposals include (a) prioritizing high-utility words in vocabulary instruction, (b) manipulating texts so as to draw learners’ attention to selected target words, (c) equipping learners with strategies that support learner autonomy, and (d) exploiting validated memorization techniques. A recurring theme is the risk that learners run of being confused about the meaning and/or form of new words due to interference from look alikes, such as deceptive cognates in their mother tongue.

Keywords: second language vocabulary, acquisition, learning, teaching, instruction, pedagogy, attention, strategies, memorization, cognates, interference

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