Study Finds Sudden Insights Key to Learning Words is the headline of an Ed Week article that appeared today, and I’m trying to figure out if it’s significant and, if so, why?

I had a difficult time really understanding what the researchers were trying to say. It appears to me they’re saying that new words are best acquired when they’re heard in context. So, in the ESL context, flashcards with individual vocabulary words are less effective than learning words in sentences with visual support.

If that’s what the study is saying, I don’t really understand what the big deal is — most teachers know this already.

However, I freely admit I may be missing the point of the study entirely. Help me out here — is my interpretation accurate? If not, what is the accurate way to interpret and apply this study in the classroom?