In Praise of Rote Learning of Academic Vocabulary Lists

Proceedings of The 6th International Conference on Future of Teaching and Education

Year: 2022



In Praise of Rote Learning of Academic Vocabulary Lists

David Rosenstein



While there are many theories of vocabulary acquisition in L2 (Krashen’s Input Hypothesis, Long’s Interaction Hypothesis, Learning Styles, etc.) they all seem to have one feature in common, namely, they all require massive contact with L2 material. Although interesting theoretically, they are inadequate in the context of many real world situations. For example, in Israel’s universities, students are required to attain an academic reading knowledge in English after one or two semesters of 14 weeks each, 4 academic hours per week. While students’ general English level is good, their academic vocabulary level is often lacking, and many of them come to the university after two or three years of military service where their contact with English is minimal. One way to deal effectively with this situation is through rote learning of academic vocabulary lists, reinforced through vocabulary quizzes which can increase their course grade, along with required academic readings from professional journals. Procedures by some instructors at Ben-Gurion University in Israel have proven effective and can be generalized to all levels of EFL and foreign language courses.

Keywords: contact, inadequate, quizzes, reading, theory.