Previous studies showed that learners’ retrieval process in tests is one of the significant aspects for enhancing the process of learning. The effectiveness of retrieval process can be utilized as a second language learning strategy. The knowledge reconstruction from retrieval process and learner’s performance may depend on retrieval cues. Retrieval cues may play a significant role in supporting the learners to avoid superficial engagement with the instructional materials. However, different types of retrieval cues may not be effective in the same way. If retrieval cues played a significant role in supporting learning, instructors would need to identify appropriate retrieval cues in order to benefit from the retrieval as an instructional strategy. This study was designed to extend the findings that show the effectiveness of retrieval in psychological experimental settings to the real classroom environment by providing several tests as an instructional strategy to learners in the second language course. Through a quasi-experiment, the present research targeted learners’ performance using different types of retrieval cues in a second language course at a university. This study investigates an effect of retrieval on students’ vocabulary learning, and the relationship between different types of retrieval cues and student performance in vocabulary retention and transfer. Implications for the design of retrieval and suggestions for future research were discussed.