Thursday, June 01, 2006

Vocab lists: ‘one of the most inefficient applications of human cognitive facilities’

From a provocative paper in JETS called “Greek vocabulary acquisition using semantic domains” (which discusses NT Greek but has broader applications):

Some L2 teachers have championed semantics-based approaches for vocabulary acquisition. John T. Crow claims that semantic fields are the best way to expand an individual’s vocabulary and discourages the use of decontextualized word lists based on frequency of occurrence computations.21 He claims that the use of these lists has been the primary teaching aid of vocabulary, although “rote learning is one of the most inefficient applications of human cognitive facilities.”

Update: Since writing this article, the author published a book called Mastering New Testament Greek Vocabulary Through Semantic Domains (the link goes to Google Books, which has the full text).

Posted by Nathan Bierma on 06/01 at 05:00 PM
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