We introduced academic vocabulary in the fall, so now we are going to review and go a little deeper. From discussing the shifts to understanding what these changes in instruction will look like in a classroom
The CCSS places a strong focus on the acquisition or high utility, sophisticated vocabulary… What is vocabulary that should be taught?
In the anchor standards for reading the focus is how words are used in a text. Students must have the skills to infer the meaning of a word from information in the context. Students must read widely, texts of sufficient complexity, in order to encounter a substantial number of unfamiliar words. As discussed, the standards require that students determine the meaning of words using the textual context in which they appear. In order for students to gain independence in these standards, they must learn the skills to infer the meaning of words using information from the text itself. To ensure students have enough experiences to develop these skills, they need to read a wide variety of sufficiently complex literary and informational texts so that they encounter many unfamiliar words in a variety of contexts. This is yet another place in the Common Core where students are required to return to the text for information.
“ Applying academic vocabulary accurately in speech.”
Let’s review the three tiers: Tier 1 words are the most basic words in our oral lexicon and rarely require instructional attention. They are words that students learn and use in every day conversation and are found in texts intended for young and developing readers. Tier 1 words are the most frequently used in text and comprise approximately 80% of the texts we read. These are words that require little, if any instructional time. Examples: baby, happy, clock, hungry Tier 2 words are of high frequency for mature language users and are found across a variety of domains. These are words that are seen across disciplines and in later grades. Words not typically common to oral language High-frequency words for mature language users Words more typically found in written language Examples: coincidence, absurd, industrious, fortunate Tier 3 words are word that are very rare or domain-specific whose frequency are low and often limited to specific domains. These are the ones you “go over” quickly and give a brief explanation or words that are best learned when needed in a content area. Examples: glossary words, ameba, isotope, lathe, peninsula CCSS: Tier One words are the words of everyday speech usually learned in the early grades, albeit not at the same rate by all children. They are not considered a challenge to the average native speaker, though English language learners of any age will have to attend carefully to them. While Tier One words are important, they are not the focus of this discussion. Tier Two words (what the Standards refer to as general academic words) are far more likely to appear in written texts than in speech. They appear in all sorts of texts: informational texts (words such as relative , vary , formulate , specificity , and accumulate ), technical texts ( calibrate , itemize , periphery ), and literary texts ( misfortune , dignified , faltered , unabashedly ). Tier Two words often represent subtle or precise ways to say relatively simple things— saunter instead of walk , for example. Because Tier Two words are found across many types of texts, they are highly generalizable. Tier Three words (what the Standards refer to as domain-specific words) are specific to a domain or field of study ( lava , carburetor , legislature , circumference , aorta ) and key to understanding a new concept within a text. Because of their specificity and close ties to content knowledge, Tier Three words are far more common in informational texts than in literature. Recognized as new and “hard” words for most readers (particularly student readers), they are often explicitly defined by the author of a text, repeatedly used, and otherwise heavily scaffolded (e.g., made a part of a glossary).
When considering which words are worthy of focusing precious instructional time on, tier two words will reap the most benefits. Tier two words are words that students will not typically encounter in conversation, even with mature language users. However, these are words that are part of the receptive vocabulary of mature language users and occur with relatively high frequency in the texts they encounter.
The notion of tiers of words is not precise, and if you were to identify tier two words from this selection, you may not choose all of the same words that we have. The tier two words that we identified in the first section are as follows: Courage: Curious: Ancient: Enormous: Hunched Timid: Currents:
Startled: Trembled: Hesitation:
Snatched: Flailed: Surfaced:
From academic vocabulary rubric.
Surfaced: Worthy of teaching because students will see it across disciplines
Startled: Tell it because students cannot get the meaning from context and is significant to the meaning of the text. Students will not see the word across disciplines.
Hunched Not address because students can obtain meaning from context
Choose an excerpt from your text. Choose 5 words and apply them to the rubric. When you do this training…you will want your participants to identify all the tier 2 words, not just 5. Participants put their words in the participant notes box to use for later in their lesson. It’s another piece of the puzzle!
Our goal for teaching the words. How to teach the words.
Beck provides us with a framework on which to plan rich vocabulary instruction using the text on the page in the context of discussions about the text. This “text talk” instructional strategy is one of many strategies that will help students learn the meanings of new words more deeply. Begin by talking about the word in the context it is used and provide the meaning using words that students already know related to the concept that the word represents. Example: use the word currents Contextualize: In the text, the tortoise is worried because he is very slow and the currents of the river are too fast. If he cannot swim fast enough, then the currents could carry him away. Student friendly: River currents are the speed and direction that the water moves/flows. The word current represents the way the water moves. Examples outside the text: When people go to the beach, why would they be concerned about ocean currents? Ask students to provide their own: Finally, ask the students to provide their own examples out of the context of the story. However, this is not the same as asking students to write a sentence using the word. The point is not to have students invent ways to apply the word, but to build knowledge about the word ’s meaning.
After bullets, think of other ways students can use this word.
Tell participants – 15 minutes
ELA SI Academic Vocabulary 2012
Academic VocabularyParticipants will learnhow to identify Tier 2words and determinewhich ones to teach.
StandardsR.CCR.4 - Interpret words and phrases as theyare used in a text, including determiningtechnical, connotative, and figurative meanings,and analyze how specific word choices shapemeaning or tone.L.CCR.4 - Determine or clarify the meaning ofunknown and multiple-meaning words andphrases by using context clues, analyzingmeaningful word parts, and consulting generaland specialized reference materials, asappropriate.
StandardsL.CCR.5 - Demonstrate understanding of figurativelanguage, word relationships, and nuances in wordmeanings.L.CCR.6 - Acquire and use accurately a range ofgeneral academic and domain-specific words andphrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, andlistening at the college and career readiness level;demonstrate independence in gatheringvocabulary knowledge when encountering anunknown term important to comprehension orexpression.
StandardsSL.CCR.6 - Adapt speech to a variety of contextsand communicative tasks, demonstratingcommand of formal English when indicated orappropriate.
Choosing Words to TeachThree Tiers of WordsTier 1 – most basic words of oral language andrarely require instructional attention (80% of text)Tier 2 – words that are more sophisticated andused often across disciplinesTier 3 – words that are very rare or apply tospecific domains
Tier Two Words• Words not typically common to oral language• High-frequency words for mature language users• Words more typically found in written language
Which words are worthy of instruction? Students are likely to see the word often in other texts and across domains. The word will be useful in students’ writing. The word relates to other words or ideas that the students know or have been learning. Word choice has significance in the text. The context does not provide enough information for students to infer the meaning.
Academic Vocabulary Instruction Not address Criteria to determine which words toTier 2 Words Tell teach: Worthy Students are likely to see the word often in other texts and across domains. The word will be useful in students’ writing. The word relates to other words or ideas that the students know or have been learning. Word choice has significance in the text. The context does not provide enough information for students to infer the meaning.
Academic Vocabulary Instruction Not address Criteria to determine which words to Tier 2 Words Tell teach: Worthy X Students are likely to see the wordsurfaced often W in other texts and across domains. X The word will be useful in students’ writing. X The word relates to other words or ideas that the students know or have been learning. X Word choice has significance in the text. X The context does not provide enough information for students to infer the meaning.
Academic Vocabulary Instruction Not address Criteria to determine which words to Tier 2 Words Tell teach: Worthy Students are likely to see the wordstartled often in other texts and across T domains. X The word will be useful in students’ writing. X The word relates to other words or ideas that the students know or have been learning. X Word choice has significance in the text. X The context does not provide enough information for students to infer the meaning.
Academic Vocabulary Instruction Not address Criteria to determine which words to Tier 2 Words Tell teach: Worthy Students are likely to see the wordhunched often in other texts and across N domains. The word will be useful in students’ writing. The word relates to other words or ideas that the students know or have been learning. X Word choice has significance in the text. The context does not provide enough information for students to infer the meaning.
Your TurnUsing an excerpt from the text you chose:•identify the Tier 2 words.•use the rubric to determine which words tofocus instruction on.
Rich Vocabulary InstructionThe goal of vocabulary instruction is forstudents to know words well, be able toexplain them, and use them in multiplecontexts.Students “own” the word.
Rich Vocabulary Instruction “Text Talk”• Contextualize each word for its role in the text.• Provide the word’s meaning through student-friendly explanations.• Provide examples beyond the story context.• Ask students to provide their own examples.
Your Turn• Choose a word from your list that is worthy of instructional focus.• Create a “text talk” for that word. • Contextualize it • Provide student-friendly explanation • Provide examples beyond the story’s context