Increasing Academic Vocabulary Development Across the Content Areas University of Oregon Carey A. Killen University of Oregon, EDLD 655 The Case for Academic Vocabulary The Common Core State Standards emphasize literacy in science, math, social studies, and technical subjects as essential aspects of college and career readiness. Although concerns over student reading performance K-12 have inspired considerable attention for basic literacy development, less attention has been paid to the development of more advanced literacy skills and the academic vocabulary that are necessary if students are to comprehend content-area texts at the secondary level. Clearly, students need a solid foundation in basic literacy skills if they are to become successful readers and move from learning to read to reading to learn. Yet it is not enough to assume that basic reading instruction will ensure continued development of the more advanced literacy skills (Shanahan & Shanahan, 2008) and vocabulary that students will need if they are to engage effectively with academic texts they will encounter in later grades and in life after high school. Well-planned professional development focused on developing an understanding of literacy and specific strategies for fostering vocabulary development can be key to ensuring that students increase their disciplinary literacy school wide. Professional Development Timeline School Setting Demographics 2011-2012 Free and Reduced Meals 39.0% Special Education 14.4% Minority 15.9% Talented and Gifted 8.9% English Language Learners 3.4% Many of the strategies for vocabulary development detailed below are drawn from recommended strategies for English Language Development associated with Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP), but can be effective with all students, particularly those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Instructional Strategies for Vocabulary Development Manipulatives for ordering, categorizing, showing relationships Providing a context for specific uses of vocabulary Vocabulary Self-Collection Strategy (VSS) (Ruddell, 2005) Concept Definition Map Total Physical Response activities Vocabulary is a key element of reading comprehension. Students entering our school system have large differences in their vocabulary, correlated in part with their socio-economic status, a factor that may contribute to differing amounts of exposure to vocabulary-rich environments (Hart & Risley, 1995). Vocabulary plays a key role in students’ ability to read and to comprehend what they read at all stages of literacy development as outlined by Shanahan and Shanahan (2008): Basic Literacy: Literacy skills needed for decoding and understanding high-frequency words found in almost all reading tasks. Intermediate Literacy: General comprehension strategies and basic fluency needed for most common reading tasks Disciplinary Literacy: Specialized reading skills needed in different content areas—science, math, history, literature, and others. Drawing, Defining, Using Personal Dictionaries Word Walls Vocabulary Games Self-Assessment of Vocabulary Comprehension Sentence Strips, Cloze Sentences Music, rhymes, mnemonic devices Graphic Organizers such as Frayer Model: Definition/Explanation New Word Disciplinary Literacy Examples Non-Examples Intermediate Literacy Basic Literacy . If students are to develop the level of literacy indicated in the Common Core State Standards in different subject areas, targeted instruction in subject-specific, academic vocabulary may play an important role in their reading skill development, particularly for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Student- and instructor-generated tools Podcasts Songs, rhymes, chants Vocabulary Games Animations www.quizlet.com Videos for wiki, youtube and school website Mnemonic Devices www.studystack.com Contact Information For more information contact Carey Killen at [email protected] POSTER TEMPLATE BY: www.PosterPresentations.com 2. Establish School Wide Goals including: Development of a common set of instructional strategies increased student comprehension of academic vocabulary Increased strategies for students to use now and in future Specific assistance for diverse populations 4. Provide training in specific instructional strategies bi-weekly for vocabulary development: 10-20 minute session led by instructor from each content area Expected follow-up implementation and debrief Degrees of Intensity Diagram Essential Characteristics 1. Build Common Understanding. What do we know about our students’ reading performance? What does the research indicate about vocabulary and reading? What literacy skills do the Common Core State Standards require of students and what role does vocabulary play in the development of those skills? What type of vocabulary must students comprehend if they are to engage effectively with content-area grade level texts and typical activities in our school? 3. Establish a Context for Instructor Involvement Develop an understanding of literacy development across the school including: assessment of literacy skills, identification of student needs, the role of targeted interventions. the role of classroom strategies across the school. Word Generation Focus on Academic Word List Theory Professional development for Academic Vocabulary Development will complement our ongoing professional development related to student engagement since many of the strategies included enhance student engagement and can be used to teach other skills and content. 5. Establish Definitions of Key Academic Terms Analyse: Common Interpret data to reach conclusions. Comment: Give a judgment based on a given statement or result of a calculation. Examples from International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme: Compare: Give an account of similarities and differences between two (or more) Construct: Deduce: Discuss: items, referring to both (all) of them throughout. Represent or develop in graphical form. Reach a conclusion from the information given. Give an account including, where possible, a range of arguments for and against the relative importance of various factors, or comparisons of alternative hypotheses. 6. Ensure Ongoing Access to Models and Support Pairing of colleagues Online bank of examples Online videos of short trainings Peer observation or guest teacher opportunities Handbook of strategies 7. Establish Process for Orienting New Staff through expectations for explicit vocabulary instruction and access to school wide tool kit, peer observation, and video modules. Home-School Connection Ongoing communication with families about our school wide goals, including our efforts related to vocabulary development form a key part of our plan. Information on our school website, in newsletters, and in written materials will provide suggestions, activities, and online resources for families to support their children’s learning at home. Resources Needed Most of the activities can be accomplished at little financial cost to the school. However, a commitment to spend time establishing common understandings and for gathering, disseminating, and practicing the strategies is essential. Time --3 hours (one person) to gather data, research, and multiple strategies --3 hours (all instructors) for Introductory Session, Goal-Setting, Initial Strategies --Bi-weekly 10-15 minute session (all instructors) on specific vocabulary strategy --Time (all instructors) devoted to implementing strategies in classrooms Personnel (Volunteers or Instructional Leaders) --Leader for Introductory Session and Goal-Setting --Individual instructors to lead strategy sessions --One staff member to maintain wiki and gather strategies --One staff member to videotape teachers modeling strategy Additional Resources --Printing costs for strategy sessions and written information to send to families ($100-$200) --Video equipment (available on site) --Website (school website available, additional wiki at no cost) Anticipated Student Results Evidence Increased student comprehension Formative assessments, formal of and use of academic vocabulary content-area assessments addressing vocabulary, reading, and writing Improved reading comprehension Standardized test scores (ACT, SAT, SBAC) Increased understanding and independent use of vocabulary development strategies Anticipated Teacher Results Student self-assessment, Teacher observation Evidence Development and consistent use of Results of Teacher survey strategies and online tools for vocabulary development Increased teacher peer observation Data from Observations Increased use of student-centric online tools Results of online teacher survey and online student survey. Increased attention to diverse learners. Results of online teacher survey and online student survey References Echevarría, J., Vogt, M., Short, D.J. (2008). Making Content Comprehensible for English Learners: The SIOP® Model. Pearson: San Francisco. Hart, B., & Risley, T. R. (2003). The early catastrophe. The 30 million word gap. American Educator. 27(1), 4-9. International Baccalaureate Organization. (2007). Diploma Programme Biology Guide. IBO: Cardiff. Shanahan, T., & Shanahan, C. (2008). Teaching disciplinary literacy to adolescents: Rethinking content-area literacy. Harvard Educational Review. 78 (1), 40-59. Sibold, C. (2011). Building English Language Learners' Academic Vocabulary: Strategies and Tips. Multicultural Education. 18(2), 24-28. Sobolak, M. J. (2011). Modifying robust vocabulary instruction for the benefit of low-socioeconomic students. Reading Improvement. 48(1), 14-23. Wagner, R. K., Muse, A. E., Tannenbaum, K. R. Eds. (2007). Vocabulary Acquisition: Implications for Reading Comprehension. Guilford Press: New York.