[Toegepaste Taalwetenschap in Artikelen 34] 1989
► pp. 42–50
De Vergeten Leerprincipes
Cognitieve aspecten van de woordenschatverwerving.
Recently learning psychologists have tried to prove that learning vocabulary in paired lists is more efficient than learning vocabulary in contexts.
However, closer inspection of their experimental designs reveals undeniably that the evidence presented is not very reliable. The experiments are based on linguistically naive assumptions. Polysemy within and heterosemy between languages have not sufficiently been taken into account. The assumptions concerning the mental lexicon are equally naive in that they do not account for the highly structured design of the mental lexicon.
Fundamental insights from linguistics and learning psychology support contextual learning of vocabulary. Especially vocabulary learning by means of "pregnant" contexts that foster mental elaboration seems to be highly recommendable. It is furthermore argued that the acquisition of the polysemous and syntactically and morphologically versatile profile of vocabulary items should begin with the prototypical meaning of words, which can be inferred from word association lists obtained with native speakers