Building Vocabulary Chapter 1 Research & Principles
IntroductionEvery lesson is a language lesson regardlessof the content. Academic outcomes are hugelyinfluenced by whether language is taughtarbitrarily or with intent. The purpose of thischapter is to explore a variety of research andprinciples related to vocabulary instruction.
Objectives Participants will demonstrate understanding of the relationship between academic achievement and vocabulary knowledge. Participants will demonstrate understanding of the word knowledge continuum. Participants will demonstrate understanding of layers of word knowledge. Participants will demonstrate understanding of four principles of vocabulary instruction.
Why Vocabulary? Low SES students know about half the number of words as higher SES students. Lower achieving students know about a fourth the number of words as higher achieving students. There is a strong relationship between academic achievement and vocabulary knowledge.(Saville-Troike, Graves, Brunetti, Slater, Smith)
Why Vocabulary? Robust vocabulary instruction is effective for learning word meanings, but more importantly for directly impacting reading comprehension. (Beck, Perfetti, McKeown, Omanson, Pople) Knowledge of a topic is contained in the terms relevant to the topic. Understanding the terms makes it easier to understand the topic (encapsulated meaning). (Marzano, Stahl, Fairbanks)
Encapsulated MeaningHiking: switchback, trekking, trail difficulty, terrain,strenuous, moderate, novice, timberline, trail, summit,ascent, descentData Analysis: statistics, central tendency, mean,median, range, mode, standard deviation, trend,reliability, outlier, sub-group, correlationThe more terms you know related to the topic, thebetter you understand the topic.(Marzano)
Word Knowledge Continuum No knowledge of the word General sense of the word Contextually narrow knowledge of the word Knowledge, but little or no ready recall Deep, decontextualized knowledge(Beck, McKeown, Omanson)
Word Knowledge ContinuumUnderstanding generally stops at a contextuallynarrow understanding of the word withoutdirect, deliberate vocabulary instruction.Students may remember what the word isrelated to, but cannot apply it to a variety ofsituations.(Beck, McKeown, Omanson)
Word ConsciousnessWe generally have some sense of when a sentenceseems “wrong,” but we may not be able to describe theproblem, even if our first language is English.*The boys made their chores.*What age do you have?*The woman is five feet high.Developing word consciousness skills is important,especially for English learners.(Zimmerman)
Word Consciousness“An awareness and appreciation of wordsand the ability to reflect on their use…analertness to words…is essential forcomprehending the language of schooling.”Learners benefit when there are classroomdiscussions, activities, practice, andopportunities to experiment with register,precision of words, and differences in wordchoice and usage.(Lederer, Scott, Nagy, Zimmerman)
Layers of Word Knowledge Meaning Collocations Grammatical features Word parts Register(Zimmerman)
Layers of Word Knowledge MeaningPositive/negative connotationThe lady is petite/ dumpy. Degree/strength She hoarded the magazines.(Zimmerman)
Layers of Word Knowledge Collocation Certain words occur with certain other wordsFixed phrases*Small sums of people were there. Prepositions *They discriminated me.(Zimmerman)
Layers of Word Knowledge Grammatical FeaturesPassive/active verbs*I am fit by a size 8 skirt. Verb complements *I like to race because I enjoy to go fast.Count/uncountable nouns*The countertop is black marbles. Parts of speech *Don’t bubble the gum in my face.(Zimmerman)
Layers of Word Knowledge Word PartsWrong suffix*The phone was ringing continuing. Incorrect word building *There is great bondage between the dog and his toy.(Zimmerman)
Layers of Word Knowledge Register Appropriate FormsFormal/informalHey, dude! What’s up? (employee to boss) Polite/impolite Physically impaired / cripples can live active lives.Direct/euphemisticI heard that your cousin died / passed.(Zimmerman)
Four Principles of Vocabulary Learning/Instruction
Four Principles1. “Students need to be active in developing their understanding of words and ways to learn them.” Concept-mapping Word sorts Developing their own strategies Activities/structures with a partner or small group(Blachowicz, Fisher)
Four Principles2. “Students should personalize wordlearning.” Mnemonic strategies Personal dictionaries Non-linguistic representations(Blachowicz, Fisher)
Four Principles3. “Students should be immersed in words.” Word walls Comparing/contrasting words orally and in writing Bringing attention to words(Blachowicz, Fisher)
Four Principles4. “Students should build on multiple sources ofinformation to learn words through repeatedexposures.” See and hear more than once Exposure Exposure Multiple sources of meaning Exposure Verbal environment Exposure Exposure Exposure(Blachowicz, Fisher)
The Verbal Environment Build on natural context using “grown up” words – Upon meeting: Hello, salutations, greetings, good afternoon – Asking about vacation: Revitalizing, pleasant, truncated – A student working hard: tenacious – Completion of good work: remarkable – The loss of a favorite item: desolate Post words, refer to them, and use them often(Beck, McKeown, Kucan)
Recap of Four PrinciplesStudents need to beACTIVE in developing understanding,PERSONALIZE word learning,be IMMERSED in words, andhave REPEATED EXPOSURES to words.(Blachowicz, Fisher)
Effective InstructionFor vocabulary instruction to be effective,we must move beyond asking students tosimply look up a definition, write a sentence,and draw a picture. Effective vocabularyinstruction must be deliberately planned,consistently executed, rigorous in itsexpectations, and engaging for students. Chapter 3 discusses vocabulary instruction.
Summary There is a strong relationship between academic achievement and vocabulary knowledge. Knowledge of a topic is contained in the terms relevant to the topic. Understanding the terms makes it easier to understand the topic. Understanding generally stops at a contextually narrow understanding of the word without direct, deliberate vocabulary instruction. “Word consciousness is an awareness and appreciation of words and the ability to reflect on their use…an alertness to words…is essential for comprehending the language of schooling.” Layers of word knowledge include: meaning, collocations, grammatical features, word parts, and register/appropriateness. Four principles of vocabulary learning/instruction include: students being active in developing understanding, students personalizing word learning, students being immersed in words, and students having repeated exposures to words.
Readings Making Content Comprehensible for English Learners: The SIOP Model by Echevarria, Vogt, and Short Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction by Beck, McKeown, and Kucan Building Academic Vocabulary by Marzano and Pickering Word Knowledge: A Vocabulary Teacher’s Handbook by Zimmerman