A Mnemonic Method for the Acquisition of a Second-Language Vocabulary.
STANFORD UNIV CALIF INST FOR MATHEMATICAL STUDIES IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES
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Four experiments are reported evaluating the effectiveness of a mnemonic procedure, called the keyword method, for learning a foreign language vocabulary. The method divides the study of a vocabulary item into two stages. The first stage involves associating the spoken foreign word to an English word that sounds like some part of the foreign word the second stage requires the subject to form a mental image or picture of the keyword interacting with the English translation. Thus, the keyword can be described as a chain of two links connecting a foreign word to its English translation The foreign word is linked to a keyword by a similarity in sound acoustic link, and the keyword is linked to the English translation by a mental image imagery link. The experiments compare the keyword method for learning a Spanish vocabulary with various control procedures. Several theoretical issues related to the keyword method are examined practical aspects of incorporating the method into a foreign language curriculum also are discussed. Modified author abstract