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Word Watching: Learning Vocabulary Becomes a Hobby


  • Claire J. Kramsch

  • Claire J. Kramsch (M.A., Paris University, Sorbonne) is Senior Lecturer of German at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.


ABSTRACT In an effort to link the acquisition of the foreign language more closely to its natural and functional usage, a method was developed to make the learning of vocabulary a personal and creative challenge for the student at the intermediate and advanced levels of high school or college language classes. Closely monitored by the teacher, each student is responsible for doing his or her daily ‘word-watching,’ and choosing the words he or she will learn, according to his or her needs. At the end of a four-step learning process, vocabulary is used actively and serves as a measure of progress in communicative ability.

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