Repeat, repeat, repeat
I want to talk about Spaced Repetition. What it is, how it applies to language learning and what we can do to cater for it in our teaching.
First of all, let me tell you how I normally acquire new vocabulary in Portuguese. I come across an unfamiliar word in a conversation or in a text I am reading or listening to. If I am feeling suitably inclined, I might bother to clarify the meaning of the new word, using whatever resources are at my disposal. And then, more often than not, I will forget it. Further down the line, I will notice the word being used again, and again, and again. And each time I recognize the word being used in different contexts, the more salient it becomes and consequently the more I notice it. It is only after this repetitive processing that I stop forgetting the word and gradually acquire it as part of my long term memory stock of words.