Children who are talked to, read to and exposed to a print enriched environment develop a stronger, well rounded vocabulary.
This static provides information on how many words a child hears before entering school. The less words a child hears before entering school the more likely they are to struggle in reading and writing.
Students who come from low socioeconomic homes lack books, whether in their homes or from the library. Working class parents work long hours or more thanone job a day so these students do not get a lot of reading time. They do have print rich environment, they just need the time to be talked to or read too. Professionals either have someone taking care of their children or have stay at home mom’s who can take time to read and talk to their children (Baker, 1998).They also have a print rich environment.
The first of two main components of vocabulary instruction are ‘intentional vocabulary teaching with specific word instruction. The teacher needs to select robust words to teach from tier II level instruction that will be highly effective using a lesson that is used to intentionally guide student to mastery of the word and to practice and master effective word-learning strategies modeled by the teacher. The teacher needs to use rich and robust text during a read-aloud for example, using a word and looking up a meaning is not effective and will not solidify the meaning to the child within the environment. High engagement using Kagan group / partner activities, foldables, acting our the word, or other highly effective vocabulary strategies will deepen understanding for the student.
The second of the two main components of vocabulary instruction are the strategies the teacher needs to implement in order for the student to eventually learn vocabulary independently. Using multiple word resources such as: a dictionary, understanding (with mini-lessons for example), how to find the meaning of the base (root) word and its parts (morphemes), inferencing, and employing strategies to find context clues, all allow the reader to be successful in becoming an independent reader and mastering their vocabulary instruction (NPR, 2000).
Word meaning is very individual and it depends on a person’s background, expectation, prior knowledge, and verbal reasoning skills. In order to effectively teach and inform our instruction, we must expose children to better-known and lesser-known words, deepen and enrich existent knowledge, and build on comprehension skills. Multiple meanings have evolved from many different languages and are ever changing. Many of the words children come across early in their reading practice have multiple meanings. They must be able to decipher the meaning of the word by rereading, rethinking, searching for information, asking for explanations, and/or engaging in other strategies until the word is understood. All of these skills can be accomplished through reading practice. Synonyms are words with the same meaning. Teachers must be careful when teaching synonyms. “Some words are tentative or possible synonyms, whereas others are near-perfect substitutes for each other” (Moats, 2000). Cold and chilly are near-perfect synonyms; cool and freezing are further apart in meaning but are used to refer to cold temperatures. Synonyms are not absolutely perfect synonyms and cannot be interchangeable with one another. Therefore, teaching synonyms and how to use them correctly is of upmost importance. Teaching children how to use a Thesaurus is a good skill to teach.
Antonyms are words with opposite meanings. However, not all antonyms are black and white with only one complementary antonym. There are antonyms that fall in the “gray areas” such as the word loud, some antonyms would be: soft, subdued, quiet, silent, inaudible, sedate, somber, dull and colorless. These are gradable antonyms which, depending on the context, make better sense than others. For example, if loud means gaudy, “antonyms are somber, dull, and colorless; when loud means noisy, the opposites are quiet, silent, and inaudible” (Tompkins, 2010). This is another opportunity to introduce a Thesaurus to children’s learning. Homonyms are confusing words because they are words that sound the same or spelled the same but have different meanings such as to, too, and two. Homophones are words that are spelled differently but sound alike such as write-right. The spelling difference between words is a semantic difference. However, there are words called homographs with the same exact spelling but different meanings such as wind. “The wind is steady”. “You have to wind the toy up.” “Related words are activated in memory when they have meaningful connections and when they share structural elements at the morpheme level, especially when spelling reveals those connections” (Moats, 2000). Having said this, it is critical that children get a lot of hands-on practice in using homophones in sentences appropriately and that they make spelling connections. Some books to use in the classroom are: Gwynne’s The King Who Rained (2006) and A Chocolate Moose for Dinner (2005), Barretta’s Dear Deer: A Book of Homophones (2007), The Dove Dove: Funny Homograph Riddles (Terban, 1992), and Eight Ate: A Feast of Homonym Riddles (Terban, 2007a) (retrieved from Tompkins, 2010).
“The English language began in A.D. 447 when Angles, Saxons, and other Germanic tribes invaded England” (Tompkins, 2010). Before all of the influential languages, English was a very phonetic language. However, English has been influenced by many other languages and words have been loaned from many different countries. Teachers can teach students about the etymology of words in dictionaries. Students can learn about how words evolved and what the words mean. The etymological information can be found at the beginning or at the end of a word in the dictionary. The information is included in brackets explaining the year the word entered the English language, what language it came from, and what the word means. Here is an example: “democracy [1576, <MF < LL < Grdemokratia, demos (people) + kratia (cracy = strength, power)]”. When students know where the words came from, they are able to predict spelling patterns and meanings. Figurative meanings of words can be literal or figurative. “Literal meanings are explicit, dictionary meanings and figurative meanings are metaphorical or use figures of speech” (Tompkins, 2010). Figurative language has two types: idioms and comparisons. “Idioms are phrases used as a unit to convey meanings and tend to resist any kind of evolutionary modification of form” (Moats, 2000). They are confusing, especially for those learning the English language, because idioms must be interpreted figuratively. A few ways to teach children about idioms is to provide books that explain idioms such as “Scholastic Dictionary of Idioms (Terban, 2006) (retrieved from Tompkins, 2010) and have them create posters showing the literal and figurative meanings.Metaphors and similes are comparisons that compare something to something else. Similes compare by using the words “like” or “as”: “The classroom was like a jungle”. A metaphor compares two things without using the words “like” or “as”. “She’s a cool cucumber”. Teaching children about similes and metaphors will help them learn to enliven their writing and make it more interesting.
Because teachers cannot teach every word students may encounter, teachers must choose which words to instruct on during units. In order to teach students successfully, a tier system was created by Beck, McKeown, and Kucan. Each tier is a different type of word. Tier 1 contains vocabulary words such as sun, water, and animals. These words are learned through socialization with others. The second tier is comprised of words that have a greater purpose throughout the curriculum. When students know these words, it allows them to express their thoughts clearly. Tier 3 words are content-specific. They are vocabulary words that are used within thematic units. Beck, McKeown, and Kucaninsist teachers instruct within the second tier (Tompkins, G., 2010). Word Walls are used by teachers and students to put interesting, important, or complicated words on display on the classroom walls. Words from books, units, and teacher-chosen words can be put up on the word wall. A highly effective word wall should be interactive and engage students on a daily basis.
Word activities allow students to expand and develop the meanings of vocabulary words. Learning more than one meaning of a word and making associations between words help students to increase their vocabulary bank (Tompkins, 2010).
Much research has supportedthree types of instructional methods to teaching word learning strategies: The direct explanation is when the teacher explains the strategy, notes the importance of the strategy, models using the strategy, collaborative use and guided practice of the strategy and then students utilize the strategy independently strategy (Duke & Pearson, 2002, pp. 208–210).Transactional Strategy Instruction incorporates some of the direct explanation instruction initially, instruction is brief and usually occurs during reading activities then when an opportunity presents itself students are expected to utilize the particular strategies. Instruction and materials are not preplanned, since it is sort of off the cuff instruction, although there’s research supporting its effectiveness there is also research that suggests that teachers often do not have time to get to work in transactional instruction daily, making it very unlikely that students skills will significantly improve.Balanced Strategies Instruction combines both direct and transactional strategies. The instruction is deliberate and planned, incorporating review and rehearsal and integration. Students are given detailed knowledge about each strategy in order to learn how to use them and when to use them. In this method teachers plan instruction, practice and application activities that motivate students to utilize the strategies by expressing the value and rational for how the strategies are beneficial. Modeling is explicit giving thorough explanations and allowing for class discussions. Guided practice also sparks collaborative discussion, instruction and practice of strategies occurs over extended periods of time. The goal is for prolonged instruction to ensure proficiency of ability to apply the strategies independently making students meta cognitive of their learning (Graves, 2006).
Michael Graves (2006) suggests that students follow this procedure when they encounter unfamiliar words. First they must determine if it is truly significant to know the meaning of the unfamiliar word. If the meaning is not important than he suggests it is acceptable for students to skip the word. On the other hand most words are important are require students to determine what the unfamiliar word is. “This procedure has the greatest chance of success because it incorporates all threeword-learning strategies (Tompkins, 2010, p. 244).”
Capable readers who are aware use these strategies to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words which increases their fluency and comprehension of text. Readers who have not mastered these strategies often depend on only one or two less effective strategies and in the end will try to sound out a word or skip it altogether which significantly impacts fluency and comprehension (Tompkins, 2010).
It is critical for students to use context clues, most words are learned through context, increase students ability to learn words in context will increase the number of words students learn overall. “If students read 20,000 words a year and learn 1of every 20 words from context, they will learn 1,000 words, or one third of their annualvocabulary growth. That’s significant! (Graves, 2006)”This requires fundamental instruction on using context clues. The best method of instruction for teaching context clues is modeling. While reading a teacher should uses think-alouds to demonstrate how to find the meaning of words through context clues. If the meaning can not be determined then the teacher can model the next strategy.
In addition to utilizing context clues students must learn to break words into parts and use their knowledge of word parts to determine a words meaning. Students use their knowledge of parts of words to decode multisyllabic words because they are clear on how the word parts work. It is imperative to teach prefixes and suffixes and non-English root words in fourth through eighth grades to improve student ability to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words (Graves, 2006).
It is extremely important that students become efficient and effective at utilizing a dictionary and other resource tools. Looking up words in a dictionary can be frustrating which is why it is key that students use dictionaries designed for their level. Dictionaries are specified for primary grades as well as upper elementary grades, etc. Teachers play a large role in student dictionary work they need to model how to read an entry and how to decide which definition makes sense (Tompkins, 2010).
It’s complicated to monitor students word knowledge because students learn words gradually. Teachers generally assess students word knowledge during independent reading through informal assessments. The informal assessment tools show whether students have learned the words that were taught in addition to the depth of their word knowledge (Tompkins, 2010).
The formal assessments can provide a measure of word knowledge but often do not adequately measure the depth of a students’ word knowledge. These tests are all very time consuming for use in a classroom setting. They can however be helpful in diagnosing struggling readers and ELL learners with limited word knowledge (Tompkins, 2010).
Pp clc white group project
Robyn Gartenlaub. Shawna Starck-White , Mayra Delgado,
Courtney Laporta, Jennifer Ciprioni
Grand Canyon University: RDG 512
June 10, 2013
The Power of
• Although children are “hard-wired” to acquire language,
they require language rich experiences and environments
to foster the language skills needed for social and
• When children learn to read and write, they
must be able to draw on a rather extensive
vocabulary to comprehend what they are
reading and writing.
“With tens of thousands of words to learn,
anything we can do to help students become
more proficient independent word learners is
an absolute necessity (Graves, 2006).”
• Vocabulary is the use of words when
communicating with others through reading
• It is how we express feels of emotions verbally
What is Vocabulary
• Vocabulary is the key to understanding what students hear and
• The ability to communicate with others.
• When vocabulary improves, comprehension
• A broad vocabulary can help create academic and
social success in children of all ages.
Why is Vocabulary So Important?
• Race/ethnicity, age, gender or birth order does not affect
knowledge of vocabulary.
• What affects the knowledge of vocabulary is socioeconomics.
• Children in low income homes come to school with a smaller
range of vocabulary than children of higher socioeconomic
Socio-Economics Quantity of Words
Heard per Hour
Working Class 1,251
Socioeconomics Words the First 4 years
Welfare 13 Million
Working Class 26 Million
Professionals 45 Million
Welfare 500 words
Working Class 700 words
Intentional Vocabulary Teaching / Specific Word Instruction
– Selecting Words to Teach
– Explicit instruction of vocabulary is highly effective
– To develop vocabulary intentionally, students should be explicitly taught
both specific words and word-learning strategies.
– Rich and Robust Text
– To deepen students’ knowledge of word meanings, specific word instruction
should be robust. Seeing vocabulary in rich contexts provided by authentic
texts, rather than in isolated vocabulary drills, produces robust vocabulary
– Instruction does not begin with a definition.
– Goes beyond definitional knowledge
– Gets students actively engaged in using and thinking about word
meanings and in creating relationships among words.
Components of Vocabulary Instruction
Multiple word meanings and the importance of choosing appropriate definitions to fit
– Morphemic Analysis
The process of deriving a word’s meaning by analyzing its meaningful parts or
morphemes (root words, prefixes, suffixes, etc.).
– Cognate Awareness (ELL)
Inferring the meaning of an unfamiliar word by scrutinizing it.
– Contextual Analysis
Teaching students to employ both generic and specific types of context clues.
Components of Vocabulary Instruction
• “Lexical semantics” is the study of word meanings” (Moats, 2000).
• Multiple Meanings of Words
Run: move the legs in a fast gait;
a flaw in a stocking; the path of a small creek.
• Synonyms: Words with the same meaning.
Cold: cool, chilly, frigid, icy, frosty, freezing.
• Antonyms: Words that mean the opposite.
Light/heavy, left/right, pretty/ugly, awake/asleep, open/shut, loud/quiet.
• Homonyms: Words with different meanings but are pronounced the same.
• Homophones: Words that are spelled alike but are spelled differently.
Air-heir, creak-creek, hour-our, peace-piece.
• Etymologies: The history of the English language.
democracy [1576, <MF < LL < Gr demokratia, demos (people) + kratia (cracy =
• Figurative Meanings of Words
Literal meaning: The dog chased the cat.
Figurative meaning: It’s raining cats and dogs.
Metaphor: She is blinded by love.
Simile: She is cute as a button.
What types of words should teachers focus on?
• Three Tiers of vocabulary words for teachers to focus on:
– Tier 1: Basic words
– Tier 2: Academic
– Tier 3: Specialized Words
• Word Walls
– Post words on the word
wall for students to use in
Choosing Your Words Wisely
• Word Posters
– Students illustrate a specific
word and write a matching
• Word Maps
– An organizer to show examples, characteristics, and ideas about a specific word.
• Possible Sentences
– Students write a sentence with a vocabulary word before finding out the definition, then go back
and revise it.
• Dramatizing Words
– Students act out vocabulary words
Word Study Activities
– Students have a set of words in which they sort according to two categories
– Students link four words that can go in a sequence. Good for life cycle.
Semantic Feature Analysis
– Teachers give students a group of
words that students use a checklist of
Characteristics to identify them by.
More Word Study Activities
Ways to Teach Word Study Strategies
–Direct Explanation of Strategies
–Transactional Strategies Instruction
–Balanced Strategies Instruction
Word Study Strategies
Procedure to figure out unfamiliar words:
• Re-read the
If they haven’t figured out
the word then continue to
the next step
• Use context clues
to figure out the
meaning of the
If they still don’t
understand , continue
to the next step • Examine the word
parts, looking for
words and affixes
to aid in figuring
If they’re still not
successful continue to
the next step
• Pronounce the
word to see if
when they say it.
If that doesn’t work
then they continue to
the next step • Check the
dictionary or ask
for teacher help.
(Tompkins, 2010, p. 244)
“For every word known by a child who is able to apply morphology and
context, an additional one to three words should be understandable”
William Nagy and Richard Anderson, Vocabulary Researchers
When students read and come across an unfamiliar word the can use
any of the following strategies to determine the words meaning:
– Use context clues
– Analyze word parts
– Use a dictionary
Word Study Strategies
• Context clues provide meaning information, about parts of speech
and how the word is used in a sentence, helps with inference about
meaning of the word and illustrations also help
Word Learning Strategies: Context Clues
SIX TYPES OF CONTEXT CLUES:
• Definitions (provided within the text)
• Illustration or Example
• Comparison or Contrast (to another word within
• Logical (using the rest of the sentence)
• Root words and Affixes
• Grammar (uses function or part of speech)
Omni means “all” / Carno means “flesh” / Herb means “vegetation”
The common word part vorous comes from the Latin vorare, meaning “to
swallow up.” When students know carnivorous or carnivore, they use
morphemic analysis to figure out the other words (Graves, 2006).
Word Learning Strategies: Analyzing Word Parts
Three sorts of word parts to assess:
• Non-English roots
Word Learning Strategies: Using a Dictionary
Guidelines for Using a Dictionary
• When reading a definition, be sure to read all of it, not
just part of it.
• Remember that many words have more than one
• Be sure to check all the definitions the dictionary gives
for a word not just one of them.
• Decide which definition makes sense in the passage in
which you found the word.
• Often the dictionary works best when you already have
some idea of a word’s meaning. This makes the
dictionary particularly useful for checking on a word you
want to use in your writing (Graves, 2006)
This strategy may require
teacher support to:
*Provide a sample
– Observe students using new words
– Observe students application of word learning strategies
– Observations occur during: word study activities,
mini-lessons, discussions, guided reading and during read alouds.
– Discuss words students use during word study and writing actiivities
– Discuss strategies utilized when students encounter unfamiliar words
– Incorporate vocabulary component on rubrics to stress its importance
– Emphasize the use of precise vocabulary
– Pencil and Paper assessments to monitor vocabulary knowledge
– Close passages, quick write about a word , a word map or word chain or draw a picture to
represent a word’s meaning
Word Study: Informal Assessment
• Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-4) (Dunn, Dunn, & Dunn, 2006)
– Individual administered K-8, screens vocabulary knowledge
– Teacher provides a word and pictures, student selects picture that best illustrates the word.
• Expressive Vocabulary Test-2 (ET-2) (Williams, 2006)
– Individual administered K-8, screens vocabulary knowledge
– Teacher points to a picture and the student provides a word that best describes the picture or
a synonym for a word illustrated by the picture.
• Informal Reading Inventories (IRIs)
– Individual administered 2-8
– Assesses vocabulary knowledge through comprehension questions focused on the meaning
Word Study: Formal Assessment
• Reading comprehension involves the ability to decode words and
to know the words’ meanings and how they are used in the real
world as well as in relation to other words.
• Children must know how to use words: when, with whom, and for
what meaning. Deep, rich knowledge of words
is acquired through using the words many
times over and by reading itself.
“The research base on vocabulary is extensive and provides us with the direction
we need to make critical decisions about how to help all students learn the
vocabulary they need to acquire conceptual knowledge in the various subject
matter disciplines (Harmon & Wood, 2008).”
Baker, K. S. (1998). University of Oregon. Retrieved from http://reading.uoregon.edu/.
Duke, N.K. & Pearson, D. (2002). “Effective Practices for Developing Reading Comprehension.” In A.E. Farstrup & S.J.
Samuels (Eds.). What Research Has To Say About Reading Instruction (3rd ed., pp. 205–242). Newark, DE:
International Reading Association
Graves, M.F. (2006). Teaching Word-Learning Strategies. In The Vocabulary Book (pp. 91-118). New York; Newark, DE;
and Urbana, IL: Teachers College Press.
Harmon, J. M., & Wood, K. D. (2008). Research Summary: Vocabulary teaching and learning across disciplines. Retrieved
Moats, Louisa Cook. (2000). Speech to Print: Language Essentials for Teachers. Maryland: Paul H. Brookes Publishing
NPR. (2000). Retrieved July 7, 2013 from: http://www.nih.gov/publications/pubs/pages/report.aspx.
Tompkins, G. E. (2010). Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach (5th ed.). Boston: Pearson.