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Retrieval, repetition, and retention: unveiling vocabulary acquisition strategies for ESL learners


This paper explores the practical implementation of retrieval practice techniques for improving English as a Second Language (ESL) vocabulary acquisition. Effective strategies for fostering long-term retention and comprehension of vocabulary are of utmost importance in the field of ESL education. Three key retrieval practice techniques, namely, The Brain Dump, Low-Stakes Quizzes, and Flashcards, were examined, and their advantages, drawbacks, and potential impact on ESL learners were discussed. Additionally, the integration of digital technology with traditional retrieval practice tools is discussed, highlighting the evolving landscape of language learning strategies. This discussion emphasizes the significance of retrieval practice in enhancing ESL vocabulary acquisition, offering educators and learners valuable tools to reinforce memory traces, engage in active recall, and promote metacognition. However, challenges, such as time constraints, test anxiety, and rote memorization, must be carefully considered in their implementation. Overall, this paper provides insights into the practical utilization of retrieval practice techniques, offering educators a nuanced perspective on improving ESL learners’ long-term vocabulary retention and comprehension.


practice techniques, English, second language, vocabulary acquisition