This study was conducted in the FL English class of a typical Spanish secondary school. The students translated a short L1 Spanish text into FL English orally as a class, with accompanying dictionary glosses, before writing it down individually. This collaborative translation was supported by the teacher, and any lexical items that were not known by anyone in the class were looked up by everyone. These referenced items were then included in the evolving communal L2 text. A week later, the students were asked to translate the same text as a delayed test, without any support. On the delayed translation test, the results show that the students recalled an average of 5.4 of the words looked up. The analysis also demonstrates that accuracy scores based on errors may conceal gain scores of new vocabulary items. Finally, some pedagogical variations for FL writing, which include translation, are exemplified.