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Second language (L2) classrooms have undergone radical changes during the past 50 years, moving away from formal linguistic structures to drills and habit formation, then to comprehensible input, focus on form, cultural integration, sociocultural perspectives, and social networking.
Throughout all of these shifts there has been surprisingly little emphasis on one aspect of L2 learning that all teachers and all students acknowledge as a critical factor in L2 communicative proficiency and literacy: Vocabulary.
As someone once quipped: “If you don’t know any grammar, you can’t say much; if you don’t know any vocabulary, you can’t say anything.” This applies to more than rudimentary spoken communication. A knowledge of vocabulary is as critical to interpreting texts as it is to interaction and presentation – that is to say, it lies at the heart of L2 proficiency as currently conceptualized.
This talk addresses three issues in L2 vocabulary acquisition:

  • What is the relationship between vocabulary, text coverage, and reading comprehension?
  • What role does vocabulary currently play in L2 textbooks?
  • How can research into L2 vocabulary inform classroom praxis?

While the talk is grounded in current research, its goal is to provide instructors and students with strategies for classroom teaching, learning, and assessment.


“How Can I Learn All These Words?” Research-Based Strategies for Teaching and Learning L2 Vocabulary

Jamie Rankin (University Lecturer), Princeton University


4:00 pm ET 5:00 pm ET
Open to all language educators
Applicable Language
All Languages
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Access Instructions
Zoom link posted on website
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Cornell University Language Resource Center
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Published August 26, 2021 by Angelika Kraemer • Updated August 26, 2021