taking root

That phrase occurred to me as I was thinking of how my granddaughter is dealing with her vocabulary in French. Today she stumbled on ‘parce que’, ‘because’, which puzzled me b/c she’d always understood it before. When I discovered I had not transferred it from the daily list of words onto the permanent ‘roster’ on the wall and so told her, she displayed confusion as to what had happened. She tried to say she’d known the word all along but then didn’t know it….. the typical confusion of anyone who has a glitch in recalling a word. The situation was reading a story I had written where parce que appeared without any other context. Thinking back, I realized I’d usually used parce que while talking to her where I might ask, “And so-and-so said that because why?” with a pause between parce que and pourquoi.
So that got me to thinking about testing vocabulary outside a context. Some teachers would prefer that a student know a word “cold”, i.e. with no need for context. Yet I note over and over how native English speakers stumble over an English word simply b/c the context is unusual or there is no context. Most of us understand language in a context; yet there are words we do know cold.
That is when the phrase ‘take root’ occurred to me. It is clearly a synonym of Krashen’s “acquired”.
So for me the question is are we aiming for the “structures” taught in a TPRS lesson to be the only items acquired, that take root, or should we expect many other words to be acquired and, if so, which ones?

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