Concerns about how to build academic vocabulary and weave its instruction into curricula are common among classroom teachers. This article reviews the research and offers some practical suggestions for teachers.
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.”
Vocabulary instruction is an important part of English language arts classes, as well as content area classes such as science and social studies. By giving students explicit instruction in vocabulary, teachers help them learn the meaning of new words and strengthen their independent skills of constructing the meaning of text. Learn more in this excerpt from Improving Adolescent Literacy: Effective Classroom and Intervention Practices.
A strategy for vocabulary instruction that involves introducing new vocabulary in related clusters. This approach can help diverse learners, including English-minority students, make important vocabulary connections.
A strong vocabulary, both written and spoken, requires more than a dictionary. In fact, it requires an educational commitment to overcoming four obstacles: the size of the task (the number of words students need to learn is exceedingly large), the differences between spoken and written English, the limitations of information sources including dictionaries, and the complexity of word knowledge (simple memorization is not enough). Learn more about these challenges to acquiring the 2,500 words a student needs to add each year to their reading vocabulary.
Students need to develop an extensive vocabulary to read with fluency. In turn, fluency in reading leads to increased comprehension. Fluency also comes from the written language of the reader since the student writes words he or she knows. Increased comprehension enhances the written language of the learner.