2005 Volume 7 Pages 66-91
When surveying many texts and research articles on the teaching of vocabulary, what often seems to be missing is a clear and systematically elaborated taxonomy of essential strategies for lexical acquisition based on findings in applied linguistics and learning theory. Teachers are left wondering how to help language learners build up a large TL vocabulary quickly, especially those who intend to do further academic or technical study and work in English. Since building learners' understanding of word meanings is so crucial to any other language development, the following reason- and research-based taxonomy is recommended to help teach students how to more systematically and successfully process new target language (TL) vocabulary. A 'Depth of Lexical Processing Grid or Taxonomy' is proposed, which relates to both common, essential vocabulary learning strategies and logical steps for cognitively processing and storing new words. Having a practical and user-friendly Depth of Lexical Processing Taxonomy available can help both language instructors and learners to better monitor their vocabulary development, so that they can be given more specific vocabulary learning strategies (VLS) instruction and practice in crucial but oft-neglected areas. Can the complex and various facets of second language vocabulary learning actually be measured with instruments that are user-friendly, and which can be made understandable to students and teachers alike? This article proposes several evaluative and instructional tools and ways in which both L1 and L2 vocabulary assessment and instruction can be made more accessible and understandable by using them within a simple, yet all-encompassing model of second language vocabulary acquisition (SLVA).