In episode 41, Stacey does a bit of digging to learn about different ways teachers conceptualize and make use of vocab lists. Kara Parker, a teacher trainer and consultant in Florida, and AC Quintero, a high school Spanish teacher in Illinois, both contribute to this discussion about how to make vocab lists useful for learning.


Check out the BONUS CONTENT for this episode here.


Show Notes

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We heard a clip from episode 28 with Joe Barcroft, the first part of a two-parter all about vocabulary acquisition.

Kara Parker is a teacher trainer, consultant, and blogger at You can find Kara on Twitter @kararparker.

AC Quintero is a high school Spanish teacher and author of comprehensible novels for language learners. You can find AC on Twitter @klasekastellano.

More resources on vocab lists…

…Kara’s blog post on vocab lists can be found here

…And look at this #langchat discussion of vocab lists on Amy Lenord’s blog: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. This is probably my favorite resources because of how many different teachers it includes!

…for an extensive academic treatment of word lists in language teaching, check out Nations’ 2016 book Making and Using Word Lists for Language Learning and Testing

a blog post by Steve Smith about themed vocab lists

If you want to know more about vocabulary testing and retrieval practice, check out episode 25 on that topic!


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6 thoughts on “We Teach Languages Episode 41: Vocabulary Lists with Kara Parker & AC Quintero

  1. Hi Stacy,

    by chance this set of vocab books popped up on a feed (;

    the author lists the 200 most frequent words for a number of languages with example sentences; what’s also interesting is the claim by author of the importance of word pronunciation in helping to remember vocab (we could see how this could be supported from say dual coding theory);

    also a method called the Goldlist came onto my radar recently, it advocates a fixed spaced repetition along with rehearsal practice & categorisation in the stages it terms as “distillation” –


  2. A colleague & I were just discussing the validity of vocab. lists! Thanks for all of the information provided. I’m going to bring this podcast back to the cohort of language teachers in my area!
    I switched from textbook to TPRS beginning in 2008 & have used vocab. lists. However, I’ve transitioned over the years to phrases/chunks & not just stand alone words. Similar to what Kara Parker mentioned regarding what words the students need to do the task.

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