I just thought I would share this article by Dr. Rob Waring here in Japan. Dr. Warning has done a lot of interesting research into how the brain picks up vocabulary. Although he sights research that says it takes anyways from 5-16 encounters to learn a new word, His own recent research shows that it can take up to 30-50 or more times of meeting a words in different meaningful contexts before it can even to begin to stick to your head. He also says that the research doesn’t even have a clue on how many times it takes to learn Vocabulary patterns.
I’ve been to several leachers by Dr. Warning… and he was basically begging on his hands and knees for the teachers to make extensive reading the most essential part of any language curriculum. And he to is critical of the ‘traditional’ model of language learning (if you hear him talk sarcastically about the Japanese Education Ministry’s method for teaching English, you would know… )
In this little article, he simply points out the problems of learning vocabulary in the traditional classroom setting. This is written for teachers in mind, but as a learner, you may find it to be valuable. After reading this you can really see how this research supports basically all of what Steve has been saying.
Also, Dr. Waring suggests a method for dealing with Vocabulary in this article. I think his suggestion about learning vocabulary in a systematic way is very good. In fact, I really like his ‘sets’ and ‘shoebox’ method, and this might be a useful and doable model for the Vocabulary section here at Lingq.