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Vocabulary Instruction for Upper Elementary and Middle Grades: Strategies for Success Adolescent Literacy Webcast Series West Virginia Department of Education August 27, 2008
Essential Questions Why focus on vocabulary instruction? What are the links between vocabulary and reading comprehension? What is academic vocabulary and why is it important? What are the components of effective vocabulary instruction?
How do YOU teach vocabulary? Brainstorm with your colleagues for one minute. Think about how you presently address vocabulary instruction within your curriculum.
Some vocabulary practices… Unreliable Practices Asking students, “Does anyone know what _____ means? ” Numerous independent activities without guidance or immediate feedback Directing students to “look it up” then use it in a sentence Relying on context based guessing as a primary strategy Research-based Practices Teacher directed, explicit instruction Provide opportunities to practice using words Teach word meanings explicitly and systematically Teach independent word learning strategies (i. e. , contextual strategies & morphemic analysis
Vocabulary is Oral and written Expressive and Receptive
Vocabulary instruction is Direct Indirect
Why focus on vocabulary instruction? “Of the many compelling reasons for providing students with instruction to build vocabulary, none is more important than the contribution of vocabulary knowledge to reading comprehension. Indeed, one of the most enduring findings in reading research is the extent to which students’ vocabulary knowledge relates to their reading comprehension. ” (Anderson & Freebody, 1981; Baumann, Kame’enui, & Ash, 2003; Becker, 1977; Davis, 1942; Whipple, 1925)
Vocabulary Knowledge has a Direct Impact on Comprehension Children’s vocabulary as measured in Pre. K is directly correlated with reading comprehension in upper elementary grades (Dickinson and Tabois, 2001). Cunningham and Stanovich (1997) reported finding that “vocabulary as assessed in grade 1 predicts more than 30 percent of grade 11 reading comprehension. ”
The Vocabulary Gap Grade Average Student Bottom 25% End of Pre. K 3, 440 2, 440 End of Kindergarten 4, 300 3, 016 End of Grade 1 5, 160 3, 592 End of Grade 2 6, 020 4, 168 (Biemiller, 2005 b)
Vocabulary Gap The vocabulary gap grows each year(Stanovich, 1986). Beginning in the intermediate grades, the “achievement gap” between socioeconomic groups is a language gap (Hirsh, 2002). For those students who are English Language Learners, the achievement gap is a vocabulary gap (Carlo, et al. , 2004).
Actual Differences in Language Quantity of Words Heard Quality of Words Heard In a typical hour, the average child will hear: Welfare 616 words Working Class Professional 32 affirmations and 5 prohibitions Working Class 12 affirmations and 7 prohibitions Welfare 5 affirmations and 11 prohibitions 1, 251 words Professional 2, 153 words
Closing the Vocabulary Gap Research-based Strategies for Improving Student Vocabulary
So many words… How many words do we expect students to learn? How many words can students actually learn and what teaching methods are most effective? How many words can we expect to teach explicitly and for which words can we give immediate, brief explanations? How can we increase student knowledge of words as well as the number of words they actually learn?
Getting Them All Engaged Choral Responses Partner Responses Written Responses Individual Responses
“It’s not what you say or do that ultimately matters…It is what you get the students to do as a result of what you said and did that counts. ” (Archer, Feldman, & Kinsella, 2008)
Vocabulary Casserole Ingredients Needed: 20 words no one has ever heard before in his life 1 dictionary with very confusing definitions 1 matching test to be distributed by Friday 1 teacher who wants students to be quiet on Mondays copying words Put 20 words on chalkboard. Have students copy then look up in dictionary. Make students write all the definitions. For a little spice, require that students write words in sentences. Leave alone all week. Top with a boring test on Friday. Perishable. This casserole will be forgotten by Saturday afternoon. Serves: No one. Adapted from When Kids Can’t Read, What Teachers Can Do by Kylene Beers
Vocabulary Treat Ingredients Needed: 5 -10 great words that you really could use 1 thesaurus Markers and chart paper 1 game like Jeopardy or BINGO 1 teacher who thinks learning is supposed to be fun Mix 5 to 10 words into the classroom. Have students test each word for flavor. Toss with a thesaurus to find other words that mean the same. Write definitions on chart paper and let us draw pictures of words to remind us what they mean. Stir all week by a teacher who thinks learning is supposed to be fun. Top with a cool game on Fridays like jeopardy or BINGO to see who remembers the most. Serves: Many Adapted from When Kids Can’t Read, What Teachers Can Do by Kylene Beers
Word Selection for Explicit Instruction Due to the extensive vocabulary gap and the immense amount of words located within school texts, strategic selection of vocabulary to be taught explicitly is required. Select a relatively small number of words for explicit instruction, 3 -10 words per story or selection. Select words that are unknown, critical to the meaning and words that the student will likely encounter in the future. (Archer, 2008)
So, which words do we teach? Useful words (Tier 1): clock, baby, happy High-frequency words (Tier 2): coincidence, absurd, industrious Specific domain words(Tier 3): isotope, lathe, peninsula From: Bringing Words to Life - Robust Vocabulary Instruction by Isabelle Beck, Margaret Mc. Keown, & Linda Kucan
Instructional Routine for Explicit Vocabulary Instruction Introduce the word. Introduce the meaning of the word with a student friendly explanation. Illustrate the word with examples and nonexamples. Check for student understanding. (Anita Archer, 2008)
What is Academic Vocabulary? Academic vocabulary refers to the specialized, high-utility words used in the classroom Academic vocabulary includes high-use academic words (e. g. , analyze, summarize, evaluate, formula, respond, specify) Academic language includes the vocabulary, grammar & syntax necessary to competently discuss a topic
Why Teach Academic Vocabulary? Students need to learn the language of written text and academic content areas through direct, explicit instruction. Most students do not come to school prepared to comprehend academic language therefore it must be taught explicitly with students having access to numerous practice opportunities
Academic Vocabulary Examples analysis concept approach environment consistent area established constitutional assessment estimate context assume evidence contract authority export create available financial data benefit formula definition function http: //language. massey. ac. nz/staff/awlinfo. shtml (Academic Word Lists)
Intentional Teaching of Academic Vocabulary Structure academic conversations by providing sentence starters: I predict __________. I predict _________ because _______. Encourage students to use “smart” words: delighted instead of happy accurate instead of good hypothesize instead of guess illustrate instead of draw comment instead of tell seek instead of find
Growing Rich Vocabularies
How can we possibly teach all the words students need to learn? In an attempt to close the vocabulary gap, students must learn a large volume of words…more words than we can teach. Word learning strategies arm students with ways to gain understanding from unknown words.
Word Learning Strategies Using context clues Utilizing morphemic analysis Teaching the word families Teaching cognate awareness Fostering word consciousness Exposing students to vocabulary multiple times and in various manners
Fostering Word Consciousness Teach similes, metaphors and idioms. Have fun with word play by utilizing riddles, puns, anagrams, acronyms and tongue twisters. Provide students with a print rich environment. Engage students in activities that explore the history of words and word origins.
Encourage Wide Reading “The best way to foster vocabulary growth is to promote wide reading. ” (Anderson, 1992) Maximize access to reading materials and quality, authentic text. Capture students curiosity with read alouds, book talks and author studies. Expect reading outside of class.
Vocabulary is a lifelong pursuit…. “Vocabulary knowledge is not something that can ever be fully mastered; it is something that expands and deepens over the course of a lifetime. ” (Vocabulary Handbook, p. 2) Vocabulary knowledge is knowledge; the knowledge of a word not only implies how that word fits into the world. ” (Stahl, 2005)
Professional Learning Community Suggestions Kylene Beers Michael Graves William Nagy Kylene Beers Robert Marzano
Teach 21 Strategies Bank http: //wvde. state. wv. us/strategybank/vocabulary. html
Teach 21 Strategy Bank - Vocabulary
Other Helpful Websites www. fcrr. org practice activities for vocabulary for grades 4 and 5 can be easily adapted for older students www. scoe. org Anita Archer’s vocabulary instruction videos & Kevin Feldman’s presentations www. freereading. org Includes a wide variety of learning activities to develop and sharpen reading skills www. interventioncentral. org Various reading interventions are explored and recommendations given www. readingrockets. org Provides strategies for working with struggling readers, lessons, webcasts, techniques for teaching reading and podcasts to see it all in action
Text. Project Access to find Word. Zones lists, presentations, reports and other useful information related to vocabulary and comprehension instruction. http: //www. textproject. org/
Florida Center for Reading Research Specific instructional routines and student learning center activities for Grades 4 & 5. http: //www. fcrr. org/Curriculum/student. Center. Activities. htm
FCRR – Student Center Activities http: //www. fcrr. org/Curriculum/student. Center. Activities. htm
Student-Friendly Dictionaries Collins Cobuild Student’s Dictionary ISBN: 0007126409; www. heinle. com Heinle’s Newbury House Dictionary of American English ISBN: 0838426573; www. heinle. com Longman Dictionary of American English www. longman. com
Student Friendly Definitions www. longman. com
Recommended Books Beck, I. L. , Mc. Keown, M. G. & Kucan, L. (2002). Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction. New York: The Guilford Press. Baumann, J. F. 7 Kame’enui, E. J. (2004) Vocabulary Instruction: Research to Practice. New York: The Guilford Press. Biemiller, A. (1999). Language and Reading Success. Brookline, MA: Brookline Books. Graves, M. F. (2006). The Vocabulary Book: Learning and Instruction. New York: Teacher’s College Press, Diamond, L. & Gutlohn (2006). Vocabulary Handbook. Berkley, CA: Consortium on Reading Excellence, Inc. Hart, B. , & Risley, T. R. (1995) Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes. Heibert, E. H. & Kamil, Michael. (2005) Teaching and Learning Vocabulary: Brining Scientific Research to Practice. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum Marzano, R. J. (2004) Building Background Knowledge for Academic Achievement. Alexandria, VA: ASCD Marzano, R. J. , & Pickering (2005). Building Academic Vocabulary: Teacher’s Manual. Alexandria, VA: ASCD Stahl, S. A. (1998). Vocabulary Development. Cambridge, MA: Brookline. Stahl, S. A. & Kapinus, B. (2001). Word Power: What Every Educator needs to Know About Teaching Vocabulary. Washington, DC: NEA
Next Webcast When? Who? What? Wednesday, October 29 th, 3: 15 -4: 15 p. m. Upper elementary and middle school Literacy Leadership Teams and Reading/English Language Arts teachers Strategic vocabulary selection, independent reading, academic vocabulary for R/ELA, assessment of vocabulary
Contact Us Linda Palenchar, Coordinator Office of Special Programs [email protected] k 12. wv. us Angie Ware, RTI Specialist RESA II [email protected] k 12. wv. us http: //wvde. state. wv. us/ose/Rt. I. html