This article analyses critically old traditional methods of teaching foreign language in relation to the work with L2 lexical items. In the first place the author discusses the didactical tendencies in German speaking countries. The analysis shows strong and week aspects of the described teaching concepts and tries to answer the question if there is one especially effective method which supports the learning process of the foreign vocabulary. The author comes to the conclusion that such efficient teaching approach can't be found. The reason for it is the very complicated and individualized structure of the cognitive processes of foreign words acquisition. Therefore the best solution to the problem at hand here could be seen in the application of various teaching methods and techniques, in the activation of cognitive abilities of the learners and in the development of the learner autonomy.