The Effects of Repetition on Vocabulary Knowledge; Ph. Durrant(2009)

Have you ever experienced “tip of tongue” diligently trying to remember the exact word or have you ever experienced a situation when looking at the word you realized that you looked  its meaning in the dictionary  thousand times , yet cannot remember what it means. I`m pretty sure you did. I did as well. Well, what`s the problem, then ? Why does our memory betray us in the most important moment ?

Perhaps because writing down  strings of words  in the  notebook and then translating them one by one isn`t the most effective way to help us  memorize/ acquire words and thus enrich  vocabulary in that way. Even if you`ll “meet’ those words two or three times and write and memorize them over and over won`t  have any tangible result.

What steps should we take then to solve such an important issue. According to the study conducted  by Webb(2007), in order to acquire the full meaning of a certain word, we should encounter this word in different types of contexts at least ten times.Although this is quite a significant finding, and the repetition of word over time can really be helpful, still this method is less plausible. The reason is that there are different types of words, such as high frequency and low frequency, words that are specific to certain areas and spheres.Thus it makes our work really hard, a big challenge.It`s takes  enormous efforts and long hours of  work to design such materials, or provide learners with such texts where even low frequency words can be encountered 10, or even 6-7 times.

In this case  the only way that will help us more or less will be   returning to  old traditions, relying on contextual clues, grammatical forms and structures, and/or background knowledge.


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