The keyword method has proved to be an effective technique for vocabulary acquisition in foreign language learning where learners are naive with respect to the language of the target items of vocabulary. Several studies have suggested that the effects of the method are less pronounced when used by high school learners who have experience with the target language. These results have raised questions about the applicability of the method in regular classrooms at high school level and beyond. The possibility that this pattern of effects is due to the use by such learners of sophisticated learning strategies is considered here. The effects of training in use of a multiple elaboration strategy is compared with recall for target words obtained with a standard keyword treatment in regular high school Italian classes at Year 10 level. These effects were examined for words that suggested obvious keywords and words that did not have obvious keywords, at both immediate and delayed times of testing. A significant gain in overall level of recall was observed for the multiple elaboration training. This effect was not apparent on the delayed recall test 2 weeks after the end of training. The results raise questions about the strategic sophistication of these students who have had several years of experience with Italian.