Obviously, recognizability is only a first step. Gass (1988, p. 94) represents vocabulary knowledge as being on a continuum from simple recognition to the final ability to produce the
proper lexical unit in the proper collocation. This paper has made no attempt to go into full semantic meaning, as this would be impossible. The meaning of a word depends on many factors, including history, culture, pragmatics, or the place of the word in a sentence or phrase. Visson (1991, p. 39), in a book on translating Russian into English, points out that the only words with full lexical equivalence are proper names, geographic, scientific, and technical terms, days of the week, months, and numbers. This leaves the entire rest of the lexis to be negotiated one step at a time.
Teachers and students together will have to maneuver through minefields of meanings, for example, when it come to things like Sovietisms. A Russian understands the word "likvidirovat' (to liquidate)" in a way that few non-Russians will. Another task is to guide students past false cognates (false friends, as Russians call them). The Russian language is replete with them, even simple words like "alleya," which is not an alley at all, but rather a wide, tree-lined road in a park.
Despite all the hard work of students and teachers alike, learning vocabulary is one endeavor that never ends; there is no way to learn all the words in a language. However, I hope that this paper will be a small beginning step in increasing the "recognizability factor" for ESL learners, and as a result, in helping learners learn to function in their new L2.