Doubts have been raised about the effectiveness of training in the use of the keyword method for vocabulary acquisition by students who are experienced in learning a foreign language. It has been suggested that such students, in the course of their foreign language learning, develop acquisition strategies that are either similar to, or as effective as, the keyword method. This question is investigated in a study involving experienced foreign language students. Prior to the experimental component of the study, students reported on their usual vocabulary acquisition strategies. These reports indicated that relatively little of the students' strategic activity was similar in nature to that of the elaborative activity encouraged by keyword training. Hierarchical linear modelling analysis was employed to assess the long-term benefit of training in an elaborated keyword technique, with students in both the experimental and control groups being tested on four occasions. This analysis showed that the keyword-trained students maintained a significant and substantial advantage in recall of word definitions over control students on each occasion.