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Previous work on statistical language modeling has shown that it is possible to train a feedforward neural network to approximate probabilities over sequences of words, resulting in significant error reduction when compared to standard baseline models based on n-grams. However, training the neural network model with the maximum-likelihood criterion requires computations proportional to the number of words in the vocabulary. In this paper, we introduce adaptive importance sampling as a way to accelerate training of the model. The idea is to use an adaptive n-gram model to track the conditional distributions produced by the neural network. We show that a very significant speedup can be obtained on standard problems.