All About Adolescent Literacy

All about adolescent literacy. Resources for parents and educators of kids in grades 4-12.
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Developing "Student-Owned" Vocabulary

Students should learn specific vocabulary and academic language to comprehend content text, but they should also become independent in understanding and owning vocabulary. This article offers tips for developing students' "vocabulary ownership."

The most common strategy for learning vocabulary is for students to look up the definitions in the glossary or dictionary and write them down. Unfortunately, this is the least effective method for learning vocabulary and can consume 20-30 minutes of class time on a regular basis. Simply stated, the most effective way to directly instruct vocabulary is for the teacher to introduce target words, briefly explain them, and provide a nonlinguistic representation. Use the tips below to deliver effective vocabulary instruction in the classroom.

Tips for developing vocabulary (grades 4-12)

Taylor, R. (2007). Improving reading, writing and content learning for students in grades 4-12. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

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