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Building Academic Vocabulary
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Building Academic Vocabulary

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Building Academic Vocabulary

Building Academic Vocabulary

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  • 1. Building Academic Vocabulary
  • 2. Building Academic Content Knowledge
    • The strongest increase in both innate intelligence and learned intelligence is effective schooling.
    • Effective schooling can provide the most direct approach to building academic content knowledge through a variety and depth of experiences like field trips and out-of-class experiences.
    • However, an indirect approach to building background knowledge can also lead to remarkable results.
  • 3. Six Principles for Building an Indirect Approach: #1
    • 1) Students store background knowledge in “memory records” based on eight “propositions” related to an event in which the student is directly involved.
    • The student stores knowledge associated with the following “I” questions:
      • what I did; how I felt; what I did to something; where I did something; what I did for or gave to someone; what happened to me during the event; what someone else did for me ; how I felt at the end of the event.
  • 4. Six Principles for Building an Indirect Approach: #2
    • 2) Helping students store their experiences in permanent memory can be enhanced.
      • Students need minimally four exposures to new content, no more than two days apart.
        • The four exposures cannot be mere repetition.
        • The four exposures must provide a variety of elaborations of the new content without requiring students to access another knowledge set.
  • 5. Six Principles for Building an Indirect Approach: #3
    • 3) The target for instruction must be content-specific information.
      • A student’s background knowledge outside the target content area can be a valuable tool as the student personalizes the new information.
  • 6. Six Principles for Building an Indirect Approach: #4
    • 4) Teachers must build opportunities for students to build academic knowledge through multiple exposures to the surface-level or basic terminology or concepts for a content area.
      • Teachers cannot build “more” background knowledge until their students have acquired the basic information.
  • 7. Six Principles for Building an Indirect Approach: #5
    • 5) Vocabulary acquisition builds background knowledge.
      • Words are labels students store in their memory packets for single objects and for groups or families of objects.
      • Only if the student has a memory packet can that student apply background knowledge to new experiences through words.
        • A store becomes a grocery store, a convenience store, a department store, etc., only for the student with an expanded memory packet.
  • 8. Six Principles for Building an Indirect Approach: #6
    • 6) Virtual experiences enhance background knowledge.
      • A student’s ability to read allows one type of virtual experience.
      • Equally important is the use of spoken language for virtual experience.
        • Conversation is an important instructional tool that should be used in the required repetitive process to allow students to build background information.
  • 9. Characteristics of Effective Vocabulary Instruction
    • “ High frequency” word lists, used my many, have inherent problems.
      • These lists do not address the difficulty, appropriateness, or relevance of a word to a concept.
    • Effective vocabulary instruction begins with this most important declaration: Dictionary definitions should not be the first exposure for students to new words.
  • 10. Characteristics of Effective Vocabulary Instruction (cont’d)
    • Students must have multiple exposures to words and word meanings.
    • Teaching word parts supports student learning.
    • Students must be provided the opportunity to discuss the words they are learning.
    • Content-specific terms are most helpful in building academic vocabulary.
  • 11. Six Steps to Effective Vocabulary Instruction
    • Marzano’s six steps emphasize that while content-specific teachers address content-specific vocabulary, all teachers should use the six-step process.

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