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Absteact.In this study, one group of first-semester Spanish students were encouraged to acquire vocabulary through small- and large-group oral activities plus semantic mapping. Another group participated in similar oral activities, but did not perform semantic mapping. A comparision of the two groups suggests a trend toward the effectiveness of semantic mapping as a strategy that helps novice learners recall and organize second language (L2) vocabulary. Learners in this study who were exposed to semantic mapping in addition to systematically engaging in communicative activities did not appear to have an immediate advantage in terms of amount of L2 vocabulary learned, as compared with students who did not use semantic mapping. However, learners in the semantic mapping group ranked their familiarity with L2 vocabulary more highly and were able to group more L2 vacabulary by thematic heading than learners in the vocabulary activities group.