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The Use of Verbal and Imagery Mnemonics in Second-Language Vocabulary Learning

  • Andrew D. Cohen (a1)


This paper provides a critical look at the use of mnemonic associations in vocabulary learning. The paper begins with a definition of mnemonic devices—that is, techniques for converting material to be learned into a form that makes it easier to learn and remember—and focuses on verbal and imagery mnemonics, whereby a word, a phrase, or a sentence and visual imagery serve as mediator between what is known and what is to be learned. Particular attention is given to the keyword approach, in which there is both an acoustic link between a native-language word and the second-language word, and an image of the keyword interacting with the native-language word or phrase. Contentions are discussed concerning both the learning of words through verbal and imagery mnemonics and their subsequent retrieval. Attention is also given to research issues in need of investigation.



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