That is, indeed, the question!
It was in the recent English teachers’ exam in Italy and it is one of those questions that bug us as teachers. Should we teach a lot of vocabulary all together, intensively (i.e. massed practice), or space it out over a longer time (spaced practice)? Should we teach lexical sets?
Well, we’ve reviewed a recent interesting study on this and here is an infographic summarising the answers:
The reference for the research study is:
Nakata, T. & Suzuki, Y. (2019). Effects of massing and spacing on the learning of semantically related and unrelated words. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 41(2), 287-311. doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263118000219
You can also find a very handy one-page summary on the OASIS database.
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How do you teach vocabulary? Let us know in the comments!