Patricia Marks - California Reading Association

Promoting Vocabulary
Saturday, November 1, 2013
Patricia Cottrell-Marks, MA
Reading Specialist
Build academic optimism so kids hear
andbelieve every day that they can
Education Week, October 16, 2013.
Vocabulary Instruction
Students need to encounter a word about 12
times before they know it.
(Beck, I. L., McKeown, M. G., and Kucan, L. (2013) and Akhavan, N. (2007)
What does this say to us about instruction?
Rote memorization is the least effective instructional method
for vocabulary (Kameenui, Dixon and Carine,1987l; Baker,
Simmons, and Kameenui, 1995).
The Importance of Vocabulary
Vocabulary knowledge is closely related to reading comprehension and
academic achievement (Chall, Jacobs & Baldwin, 1990; Graves, 2000).
Vocabulary assessed in first grade predicted over 30% of reading
comprehension variance in 11th grade (Cunningham and Stanovich,
Children who enter school with limited vocabulary fall further
behind each year that they are in school (Chall et al., 1990)
Fourth grade slump strongly associated with increasing text demands
and under-developed vocabulary (Chall, Jacobs & Baldwin, 1990)
Vocabulary knowledge is a critical factor in the school success of
English-language learners (Carlo, August, & Snow, 2005; Folse,2004;
Nation, 2001).
How Does Vocabulary Affect Reading
Comprehension and Written Expression?
Reading Comprehension
 If you misunderstand a word, it can throw off the whole
 Ex: Look at the big black bat.
Written Comprehension
 If you don’t know a specific word, your writing is very
nondescript. Word retrieval is difficult for many students.
Ex: I like the big thing that does it.
 Ex: The thing is that I like that stuff. Richards (2013)
The development of children’s vocabulary and syntax are
related to either hearing books read aloud and from
independent reading (Hill, 2009).
Oral and Written Language
Oral Language
repetitious vocabulary and sentence structure
story oriented
pragmatic cues
body language
shared physical surroundings
learned with little explicit instruction (Peregoy
and Boyle, 1997).
infants become naturally wired for the sounds
of oral language through daily interactions with
parents or caregivers (Chomsky, 1969).
Written Language
word and sentence structure carry
implicit meaning
text structures
pragmatic and other cues are absent
(Stetkevich and Fuhrman, 2013)
Written language was invented as a
way to represent spoken language
using abstract symbols that must be
For most children written language
must be learned with a lot of explicit
instruction and requires lots of
practice (Peregoy and Boyle, 1997).
Characteristics of Oral and Written Language
Oral Language is a natural
Written language is invented (Greene,
Ex: Tom sat on the chair.
(You) Sit over there….
Oral language is contextual and relies
on gestures.
In written language the subject (Tom) and
object (chair) are identified.
Written language meanings must include
explicit language and grammatical use of
object in sentences.
Ex: Tom – subject Chair – object
It is often a sentence fragment.
Oral language meanings can be
expressed through
facial expressions and intonations.
The articulation of nouns may not be
Involves choices to do with semantics,
syntax and phonology (Hill, 2009).
Uses more complex embedded syntax
Vocabulary Acquisition
New Word Learning
 Proficient readers learn 8 words per day, adding up to
3,000 words per year
How To Narrow the Vocabulary Gap
 Massive exposure to vocabulary--up to 100 words per
 Vocabulary instruction needs to be embedded in every
lesson across the curriculum and throughout the school
“Flood of words” – where students have many and varied
opportunities to learn new words
(Scott, et al., 1997)
Contextual reading
Four Component Vocabulary Approach
Rich and Varied Language Experiences
 Print rich environment; classroom library filled with expository and narrative
text; wide reading
Instruction in Individual Words
 Read-Alouds; students actively involved using and thinking about words
 Introduce new rich vocabulary with teacher-led discussions for 15 min./day
 Instruction should include definitional and contextual information with multiple
exposures and opportunities to use them
Instruction in Strategies for Independent Word Learning
 Semantic Maps (map of synonyms for central concept), dictionary use,
contextual analysis, cognate awareness for ELL students
 Morphemic Analysis – prefixes, roots and suffixes
Fostering Word Consciousness
 Developed through word play, and through
research on word origins or histories
(Graves, 2006)
What Words To Teach
Tier One
 Consists of most basic words: baby, clock, walking
 These words rarely need instruction, except for Englishlanguage learners and students with limited vocabulary
*Tier Two (Magic 8 Word List—Word Wall)
 Important for academic oral or reading comprehension.
 Contain multiple meanings.
 Target words within “zone of proximal development”
 About 7,000 word families in English
Tier Three
 Explain as need arises matter molecule
 Meaning is unlikely known; specific to particular content area
(Beck, McKeown, Kucan, 2013)
Criteria: Tier II Level Words
Importance and Utility
Characteristic of mature users
Appear frequently across various domains
Increased descriptive vocabulary
More abstract and complex
Instructional Potential Children need to learn 2,000 to 3,000 new words
each year from 3rd grade onward--about 6-8 words per day.
(Tresansky, 2012)
Wide usage
To build connections with other words and concepts
Best candidates for explicit instruction “Goldilocks
Conceptual Understanding
Words to demonstrate understand demonstrate general concepts
To provide precision and specificity describing concepts
Strategies for Word Building
Latin and Greek Roots
Morphological Analysis
Academic Vocabulary
Read- Alouds - Children’s Books
Inferring Word Meanings
Drama To Learn Word Meanings
Using Graphic Organizers
Why teach Latin and Greek Roots?
Over 60% of words students encounter in school texts derive
from Latin and Greek roots (Nagy, Anderson, Schommer, Scott &
Knowledge of these roots like pronunciation, meaning, and
spelling, especially for young readers (Rasinski & Padak, 2001; Bear,
Invernizzi, Templeton & Johnston,2000).
Many English language learners speak first languages
semantically embedded in the Latin lexicon (e.g., Spanish) and
studying these can accelerate vocabulary growth (Blachowicz,
Fisher,Ogley & Watts-Taffe,2006).
Tier Two Words- many words Greek and Latin root
Study of “roots” provides ability to learn many words
independently (Nagy, & Scott, 2000).
Morphological Analysis:
Process of breaking complex words into meaning elements
called morphemes (bases, prefixes, and suffixes) (Bowers,
Kirby, 2009).
Latin words:
in + cred
(not) (believe) (can be done)
“cannot be believed”
Morphology: Study of Latin, Greek, AngloSaxon Roots & Affixes
in, y, s,ed, ible,
tive, ness
ture, ed, s, ing
cy, s, ed, ing,
“to break or
ly, ness, s, ing,
ed, tion
Second Language Learners &
Struggling Readers
Teaching Approach:
Scaffold language instruction and concepts.
Provide direct and explicit language instruction.
Students practice these skills in pairs or small groups.
Provide a safe and supportive learning environment.
Word Tree:
To help students recognize how words can grow from base words
fract (Latin) to break; violateand root words.
punct (Latin) point and dot
fractious (adj) –
1. tending to make trouble;
2. cranky
puncture – to pierce with pointed object
in frac tion (n) breaking law/rule
com punc tion (n) remorse
1. (n.) breaking of object/material;
2. (v) to break or cause to break
punc tual (adj) being on time
Benefits of Children’s Books
Introduce a history or science lesson
Broadening Vocabulary
Rare Words
Modeling Strategies: Inferring Word Meanings
Research: Benefits of Read-Alouds
Incidental Vocabulary Instruction
Young children can learn new vocabulary “incidentally” from having
illustrated storybooks read to them.
Teacher Explanations
Giving additional explanation of unknown words can more than double
vocabulary gains.
Permanency Of New Vocabulary
New learning of vocabulary is relatively permanent.
Research Findings
Reading aloud an appealing 8-10 minute story, read three times, with a
brief explanation of word meanings, can produce 40% gains in vocabulary
for typical children (Elley, 1989).
Reading to children helps build recognition knowledge of new words and
ability to use new words in their retellings (Elley, 1988; Snow, Burns &
Griffin, 1998).
Picture Books:
Broadening Vocabularies
 Select read-aloud books just above student’s reading abilities
 Read first 100 words.
 Notice the type of language the author uses.
 What would a child miss if he didn’t understand the vocabulary in
this story?
Grand Old Tree by Mary Newell DePalma
 The words introduce concepts and ideas—
sank, nestled, scurried, bore, sowed, basked, and swayed
 Consider: Does the child understand what squirrels do?
 Do they understand the life cycle of plants? Akhavan (2007)
Children’s Books --“Rare” Words
Lyrical Language
 Cynthia Rylant’s Long Night Moon or Where the Wild Things Are
‘gnashing teeth’ and ‘terrible roars’ and Max ‘sailed off through
night and day and in and out of weeks’.
Find 3 words per read aloud to focus on (Akhavan, 2007).
A child’s oral language vocabulary is enhanced through the
shared reading of picture books in either English or their primary
language and has been shown to strengthen the vocabulary
acquisition of English-language learners (Roberts 2008).
Inferring Word Meanings
Getting students to take steps to figure out words
Goals: Gain fluency, enjoy reading, and read more words overall
Steps: 1. Consider the word. oscillate
2. Think about what has happened in the story to this
3. Look at pictures for clues to word meanings.
4. Teacher leads discussion about the word and
possible meanings.
5. List “wonderings” on chart.
oscillate – to move back and forth;
being indecisive
Inferring Word Meanings – “Wonderings”
What We Think Word Means
What Else
Do We
Know About
the Word
famous or exciting
word looks
like venture
Vocabulary Activities
Vocabulary Dramatization – Introduce new vocabulary with
students dramatizing meaning using active, descriptive and
emotion words.
Vocabulary Role Play – After vocabulary dramatization,
students create and perform skits using target vocabulary.
Same Premise/Different Circumstance – Choose common
situation from text that is familiar to students. Students role
play what they would in the situation.
Dewey, M. L. (1994), Flynn, R. N., & Carr, G. A., (1994), Heinig, R. B. (1993), Jett-Simpson,
M. (1989), and McMaster, J. C. (1988).
Vocabulary Activities
Goals: To actively involve students to make predictions, use
background knowledge, and develop inferential comprehension.
 Pantomime – One student narrates and other students
silently dramatize action in the story.
 Prediction – At various parts of the story, stop and have
students role play what they think will happen next. Students
role play characters and answer questions about their
actions and what they plan to do next.
 Teacher Role Play – Assume role of a character who faces
a major decision. Students try to either persuade or
dissuade the character to make this particular decision.
Dewey, M. L. (1994), Flynn, R. N., & Carr, G. A., (1994), Heinig, R. B. (1993), JettSimpson, M. (1989), and McMaster, J. C. (1988).
Vocabulary Activities
 Vocabulary Charades – Using vocabulary from the story,
students must guess what word is being acted out by the
teacher or another student.
 Story Drama – Students act out either whole text or
significant events. This can be spontaneous or planned,
scripted or unscripted.
 Guess My Character – Students pantomime or role play a
character from the story. Others try to identify this character.
 Character Interview – Students role play characters from
the story. These characters are questioned by other
students in the class.
 Mock Trial – Using courtroom format, determine guilt or
innocence of a character.
Dewey, M. L. (1994), Flynn, R. N., & Carr, G. A., (1994), Heinig, R. B. (1993), Jett-Simpson,
M. (1989), and McMaster, J. C. (1988).
Activities to Promote Vocabulary
Word-Rich Classroom – puzzles, riddles & rhymes, word
Fab Fifteen (15 min.) - Mini lessons to teach Tier II
vocabulary words. Connect, Teach, Practice, Wrap-Up
Synonym Shakedown (chart displayed)
Definition Template
Categorizing and Sorting: 8 words put into categories
Semantic Maps – Relate word knowledge to
comprehension (see poster)
Morphology: Study Greek, Latin, and Anglo-Saxon roots
and affixes. (Alice Ansara)
Jim Trelease, “Reading aloud helps build receptive
Root It Out! Select a root word a week
Definition Template:
hierarchical, categorical, and semantic information related to
word’s definition
A _________________ is a ___________ that
_____________ and is used for________________.
A lake is a body of water that is surrounded by land and
is used to fish for fishing. (MacKinnon, 1993; Stetkevich and Fuhrman, 2013)
Graphic Organizers
Venn diagrams
Semantic maps
Line gradations
Definition template
Vocabulary tree
Story Review/Retelling
Vocabulary Tree: Synonyms, Antonyms,
Examples, Category, and Definition
Multiple Meaning Words
COBUILD: This dictionary is designed to be read like ordinary
English. It was originally developed for English-Language Learners.
Collins COBUILD New Student’s Dictionary, 2nd ed. (Glasgow, UK: Harper Collins, 2002)
Longman: The definitions are written using only the 2000 most
common English words.
Longman Dictionary of American English, 3rd ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson
Education, 2005)
Fry Instant Words List (Fry, Kress,& Fountoukidis,2004)
Living Word Vocabulary (Dale & O’Rourke, 1976)
English-Language Learners The General Service List of English
Words (West, 1953)
 Great online etymology dictionary Explores the English language Newspaper column that answers
questions about words History of word origins website List of academic words
Educators Reference Desk
Education World©: The Educator’s Best Friend
Guide to Grammar and Writing: Building a Better Vocabulary
Learning Vocabulary Can Be Fun!
Literacy Matters: Teachers
Reading Quest—Strategies for Social Studies
Star Tower
Teachnology: The Online Teacher Resource—Vocabulary
The Teacher’s Desk
Vocabulary University®
Wacky World of Words!
Web English Teacher: Vocabulary
 Apples to Apples
 Taboo
 Scattergories
 Pictionary
 Outburst
 Baldersash
 Password
 Guesstures
High Frequency/Academic Vocabulary
accelerate, achieve, adjacent, alternative, analyze,
approach, approximate, arbitrary, assert, assess, assign,
assume, authorize, automatic, chapter, compensate,
complex, complicate, comply, component, comprehend,
conceive, concentrate, concept, conclude, consequence,
consist, constant, construct, consult, context, contrast,
contribute, convert, create, criterion, crucial, data, define,
definite demonstrate, denote, derive, design, devise, devote,
dimension, distinct, distort, element, emphasize, empirical,
ensure, entity, environment, equate, equivalent, establish,
evaluate, evident, expand, expose, external, feasible,
fluctuate, focus, formulate, function, generate, guarantee,
hypothesis, identify, ignore, illustrate, impact, implicit, imply,
indicate, individual
Akhavan, N. (2007). Accelerated Vocabulary Instruction. New York:
Beck, I. L., McKeown, M. G., and Kucan, L. (2013). New York:
Blachowicz, C., Fisher, P., and Ogle, D. (2006). Vocabulary:
Questions from the classroom. Reading Research Quarterly 41(4),
pp. 524-535.
Elley, W. B. (1989). Vocabulary acquisition from listening to stories.
Reading Research Quarterly XXIV(2), pp. 175-186. Lubliner, S.
(2007). Preparing Teachers to Accelerate Students’ Vocabulary
Acquisition. CSU Reading Conference.
Trelease, J. (1993). Read all about it. New York: Penguin.
“The best S.A.T. prep course is to read to your children when
they're little,“ Jim Trelease.

similar documents