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Vocabulary Instruction for Language Learners

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Melissa Ruiz

on 9 October 2014

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Transcript of Vocabulary Instruction for Language Learners


Through the Lens of an ELL student

Let's take a moment to experience what our ELLs do when they read a text...
How did this experience make you feel?
How did you navigate the word-learning?
What did this teach you about the school experience for an ELL student?
What did this teach you about vocabulary?
Content Objectives:
Identify effective teaching strategies for vocabulary instruction for ELL students.
Identify high leverage words for vocabulary instruction from a text.

Language Objectives:

Discuss importance of vocabulary instruction.
Collaborate with peers verbally about best practices for teaching and practicing vocabulary.
Things to consider when teaching vocabulary.
Vocabulary Words:
To teach or not to teach, that is the question....
Why is explicit vocabulary instruction important?
Vocabulary Instruction for Language Learners
Students must know 95 - 98% of words, in order to learn new words through reading and understand the text.
The achievement gap is a vocabulary gap.
Classroom Context
Teaching Strategies for Beginners
Teaching Strategies for Intermediate Learners
7-Step Vocabulary Instruction
1. Teacher says the words, students repeat (3 times)
2. Teacher states the word in context from the text.
3. Teacher gives dictionary definition.
4. Teacher gives student-friendly definition.
5. Teacher highlights other features of word (parts of speech, tenses, prefixes)*
6. Teacher engages students in an activity to practice word (1 minute)
7. Teacher explains how word will be used in future academic setting.
Classroom Context
- Newcomers
- Culture Shock
- Leaning Disabilities

Pre-teaching Vocabulary before Instructional Lesson
- Total Physical Response
- Read Aloud
- Word Cards
- Word Wall Dictionary
- Working with Idioms
- Frayer Model

- Word Wheels
- Language Wheel
- Vocabulary Self-Collection
- Word Wizard
- Contextual Redefinition
- Vocabulary Journals
- Dictionary Use
- Teaching Prefixes and Suffixes
Tier 1: High Frequency Words
Function Words:
articles, pronouns, conjunctions, prepositions - best learned through exposure to natural language use.
Content Words:
simple nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs - should be explicitly taught.
Tier 2 Words: Academic Content
Content Vocabulary -
Subject Specific and Technical Terms
ex. photosynthesis, titration
General Academic Vocabulary -
Cross-Curricular Terms/Language Processes
ex. describe, model, explain, support your answer
Word Parts
- Roots and Affixes
ex. photo-

Dolch List:
Academic word list:
570 word families, 3000 words:
Wordle.net - visualize frequency
Student self assessment
Tier 3 Words: Rare
Explain as necessary.
Don't explicitly teach.
What does the Common Core say?

% of language covered
High Frequency Words Academic Language
First 1000 words 84% 73%
First 2000 words 90% 78%
Language Wheel
Word Wheel
Vocabulary Journals
Dictionary Use
Guidelines for Teaching New Words
1. Relate "new" to the "known."

2. Repeat words in meaningful contexts.

3. Provide opportunities for processing.

4. Engage students in word use.

5. Provide explicit instruction on strategies.
Teaching Prefixes and Suffixes
Word Wall Dictionary
Web Tools
- http://www.babelfish.com
Babel Fish
Frayer's Model
Make it Fun
Games to Teach Vocabulary
TTQA Ball Toss
Shades of Meaning
Vocab Balloon
Act it Out (Charades)
Dice Roll out
Card sort
Fashion show
Various vocab games
Questions/ Share outs???
Vocabulary Games:

Use Articles to Increase Vocabulary:

Word Sift
- http://www.wordsift.com/
Full transcript