A previous question, "Is it bad to only learn vocabulary through conversation/applied use?" (The question is now only visible to users with 2000+ reps) looked like three questions combined into a single post, so I am splitting off one of them:
Is learning vocabulary by means of (bilingual) vocabulary lists inefficient, and if yes, why?
This should be easy to answer. The ideal answer cites research to back up what it says.
- I originally wrote "ineffective" instead of "inefficient". Using vocabulary lists does have an effect, but the question is whether the learning effect is lower than other methods (e.g. spaced repetition) for the same amount of time or effort.
- In response to Michau's comment: I am excluding the so-called Goldlist method from this question, since this is not how most people use vocabulary lists.