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  • Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Volume 9, Issue 2
  • June 1987, pp. 201-219

Patterns of Vocabulary Development in Foreign-Language Learners1

  • Rolf Palmberg (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 November 2008

After an introductory discussion of the concepts of vocabulary knowledge continua and foreign-language learners' mental lexicons, the paper presents the results of a longitudinal pilot study whose aim was to make preliminary insights into vocabulary development as it takes place in an ordinary foreign-language classroom setting involving elementary-level Swedish-speaking learners of English. The results are discussed in terms of vocabulary growth in general, the learners' accessibility to words under time pressure, the relationship between “old,” well-known words and newly learned words, and finally, the stability of the learners' immediate access to words.

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E. Bialystok , & M. Sharwood Smith (1985). Interlanguage is not a state of mind: An evaluation of the construct for second-language acquisition. Applied Linguistics, 6, 101117.

C. Faerch , K. Haastrup , & R. Phillipson (1984). Learner language and language learning. Copenhagen: Gyldendals sprogbibliotek.

I.S.P. Nation (1982). Beginning to learn foreign vocabulary: A review of the research. RELC Journal, 13, 1436.

P. Pimsleur (1967). A memory schedule. Modern Language Journal, 51, 7375.

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Studies in Second Language Acquisition
  • ISSN: 0272-2631
  • EISSN: 1470-1545
  • URL: /core/journals/studies-in-second-language-acquisition
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