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Best Practices in Vocabulary Instruction

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Jessica Coleman

on 28 May 2014

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Transcript of Best Practices in Vocabulary Instruction




Best Practices in Vocabulary Instruction

Baumann, J., Kame'emui, E., & Ash, G. (2003). Research on vocabulary
instruction: Voltaire redux. Handbook of Research on Teaching the English Language Arts, 752-785. Retrieved from http://cscopevocab.wiki.netxv.net/file/view/AddVocabResearch.pdf
Blachowicz, C. (2000). Best practices in vocabulary instruction.
Leadership Letters: Issues and trends in reading, 1-7. Retrieved from
Bromley, K. (2002). Stretching students' vocabulary: Best practices for
building rich vocabulary. (pp. 5--7). New York, NY: Scholastic. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=-p188C0mB60C&printsec=frontcover&dq=vocabulary best practices

“Vocabulary instruction is like the weather: everybody talks about it, but nobody knows what to do about it!”
• Teaching vocabulary has remained a complex and perplexing issue, mainly because there is no one, clear cut method in teaching it.
Did You Know??
• A typical school-aged child’s vocabulary grows at a rate of three to 20 new words a day or between 3,000 and 7,000 new words a year (Bromley, 2002, p. 6).

• Children between grades 1 and 3, the vocabularies of children that live in poverty increase by 3,500 words a year while the vocabularies of middle-class children increase by 5,000 words a year (White, Graves, &Slater, 1989; Bromley, 2002, p. 7).
An Effective Teacher Realizes That a Large Vocabulary:

o Boosts Knowledge
o Improves achievement
o Enhances communication
o Shapes thinking

There is no "best method" for teaching vocabulary or learning, BUT...
Vocabulary "Mapping"
Is a best practice because...
active learning occurs when students make relationships between words they may already know or be familiar with.
What is vocabulary
Students are given a list of vocabulary words. For each word, they first find the definition, then they determine the antonym for the word. Students are then required to find related words that fall between their vocab word and the antonym. These can be words that they already know. They should place these words on a "spectrum" to show how they get from the vocab word to its antonym.
Understanding roots, prefixes, and suffixes can help decode meanings of unfamiliar words.
Helpful websites:

Word Etymology
Etymology is the study of a word's origin and development throughout history.
Multiple words can be learned from a single root.
Drawing connections to other languages.
When students discover a word's etymology, they encounter how the meaning of the word has evolved. This not only gives them a greater command of language, but it helps them when they encounter the word in an unfamiliar context to ascertain its meaning.
The Etymology of "Disaster"
Modern: a sudden event, such as an accident or natural catastrophe, that causes great damage or loss of life.
Historical: The word appeared in English during the 16th century as "mishap due to a baleful stellar aspect." Thus, disaster was once thought to be affected by the stars.
1605 Shaks. Lear i. ii. 131
We make guilty of our disasters the Sun, the Moone, and Starres.
From Italian disastro: "unfavorable to one's stars."
Latin Root:
astrum - "star"

Prefix "dis-" means "apart"

Catastrophes traced to influence
of stars or planets
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