Associative Support in the Process of Learning Vocabulary of a Foreign Language: a Psycholinguistic Approach in Language Teaching

Keywords: practical psycholinguistics, associative support, foreign language vocabulary teaching.


The subject of the article is description of the reserves for improving the efficiency of teaching foreign language vocabulary. The identification of effective strategies for mastering new words and supporting elements used in this case has been carried out taking into account the psycholinguistic theory of bilingualism as a basis for improving the theory and practice of teaching foreign languages. The illustrative part is presented by materials of the Russian lessons for students with native Turkish language.

The support is defined as a sign getting into the focus of attention and directing the search in the previous experience of the individual. Associative supports help the implementation of Association strategy in the process of memorizing a foreign word. It is suggested that if associative supports («keys» in terms of techniques) are offered at the same time with the introduction of a new verbal unit for its memorization, it will accelerate the capture of sound and graphic image of the word, ensure its introduction into long-term memory, enhance storage, simplify search and reproduction.

In order to optimize the memorization of lexical material, it is proposed to use: support on the morphemic component («familiar» roots in borrowings); support on the same sound-letter complex (interlingual homonyms); support on the language of personal meanings (etymological adaptation of the word); support on the pragmatic component (emotional-evaluative connotations of the word); support on a similar sound-letter complex («phonetic keys»); support on the grammatical analogy in the native language («positive transfer»); support on the previously formed speech skill.

The application of the strategy of association while learning vocabulary of a foreign language helps to mobilize internal resources of the memory, and is a condition for optimization of the learning process and a factor in the successful accumulation of vocabulary. The more different associative supports are involved in the process of learning a new word, the faster the memorization and the stronger the result will be.

Further methodological search in the framework of the lexical approach to language learning should be aimed at improving the teaching materials taking into account the associative principle and, in the long term, the creation of a «psycholinguistic version» of the methodological typology of vocabulary, taking into account the features of speech activity of students to learn different types of words.


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How to Cite
KlimkinaО. (2019). Associative Support in the Process of Learning Vocabulary of a Foreign Language: a Psycholinguistic Approach in Language Teaching. PSYCHOLINGUISTICS, 25(2), 69-91.