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Teaching Vocabulary: Intentional, Explicit Instruction Lynn Figurate Riverside County Achievement Team Indio, CA [email protected]

Teaching Vocabulary 1

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Page 1: Teaching Vocabulary 1

Teaching Vocabulary:Intentional, Explicit Instruction

Lynn FigurateRiverside County Achievement Team

Indio, CA

[email protected]

Page 2: Teaching Vocabulary 1

• Review scientifically based reading research on vocabulary

• Review research-based methodology for vocabulary identification strategies

• Practice direct vocabulary instruction for specific words and word parts

• Rehearse the strategies of how to use context clues and the general mood to determine the meaning of unknown words

• Develop a collaborative culture by sharing best practices

Session Goals

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Figurate Out

• Discuss with your partner: "Paula put down her pirn, wrapped herself in a paduasoy, and entered puerperium."− Story about birthing − Pirn — tool for weaving − Paduasoy — silken robe of Japanese

style− Puerperium — the time that was the

beginning of labor to birth

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The Five Pillars of Reading Instruction

• Phonemic awareness

• Phonics• Fluency• Vocabulary• Comprehension

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John Shefelbine/Developmental Studies Center [See p. 20 of the CA Reading/ELA Framework]

• Framework for Reading •






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Research About Vocabulary• Kindergarten students’ vocabulary size is a predictor

of comprehension in middle school (Scarborough, 1998)

• Students with poor vocabulary by third grade have declining text comprehension scores in fourth and fifth grade (Chall, Jacobs, & Baldwin, 1990)

• A school emphasis on word identification skills in the early grades without emphasis on books with challenging vocabulary results in poor reading comprehension in middle elementary students (Becker, 1977)

• Vocabulary instruction has a strong connection to comprehension (McKeown, Beck, Omanson, & Perfetti, 1983)

• Pre-instruction of words gave students 33 percent greater contextual understanding (Jenkins, Stein, & Wysocki, 1984)

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Words Heard in an Hour

• Poverty: 615 words• Middle class: 1,251

words• Professional: 2,153


Hart and Risley, 1995

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Registers of Language1. Frozen

Language that is always the same

2. FormalThe standard sentence syntax and word choice of work and school

3. ConsultativeFormal register when used in conversation

4. CasualLanguage between friends that is characterized by a 400- to 800-word vocabulary

5. IntimateLanguage between lovers or twins

"Reprinted with permission from aha! Process, Inc. www.ahaprocess.com"

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Where Do We Find Those Rare Words To Increase Our Vocabularies?

• Printed Text− Newspapers - 68− Adult books - 52− Comic books - 53− Children's books - 30

• Television− Adult shows - 22− Children’s shows - 20− Cartoons - 30

• Adult Speech− College grad - 17

Hayes & Ahrens, 1988

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NRP Recommendations

• Taught directly and indirectly

• Repetitions• Rich context• Active learning

(thinking)• Use multiple

vocabulary instruction methods

NRP, 2000

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Choosing the Right Words

• Tier-One Words− Basic words

o run, ball, is

• Tier-Two Words− Academic words− Found in many curriculum

areaso vocabulary, example,

create, impossible

• Tier-Three Words− Content words− Low-frequency words

o nutrient, cellophane, photosynthesis

Beck and McKeown, 1985

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Some Words To Teach

F req u en t Acad em ic W o rd sh ttp ://w w w .vu w .ac.nz /la ls /d iv1 /aw l/frequen t.h tm lA veril C oxhead M A (V UW )E m a il: A ve ril.C oxhead@ vuw.ac.nz

S ub lis t 1 o f 10ana lys isapp ro achare aasses sm entassum eau th o rityava ila b leben e fitconceptcons is ten tconstitu tiona lcon te xtcon trac tc rea teda tade fin itionderiv edd is tribu tionecon om icenv ironm e ntes ta b lish edestim ateev ide ncee xpo rtfacto rsfinan c ia lfo rm u lafunc tioniden tifiedincom eind ica teind iv id ua lin te rp re ta tioninvo lved

issueslabo rlega lleg is la tionm a jo rm etho doccu rperc en tpe riodpo licyprinc ip leproc ed ureproc essreq u iredrese arc hresp ons ero lesec tio nsecto rs ign ific an ts im ila rsourcespec ifics truc tu retheo ryva ria b les

(Refer to packet for copies.)

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Direct Vocabulary Instruction― Teaching a Word



Explanation Nonexamples



Questions and Answers

(Refer to packet for copies.)

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Teaching a Word

1. Select a word• Find “Goldilocks” words• Parts of speech

2. Find a good definition• Choose a student-friendly

dictionary− Longman Dictionary of American

English− Newbury House Dictionary of

American English

• Explore e-resources − www.dictionary.com− www.wordsmyth.net

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Teaching a Word

3. Provide a student-friendly explanationor description of the word• Teacher and students decide together

4. Present examples of the word used in contexts different from the story context• Use synonyms if possible

5. Give nonexamples of the word• Use antonyms if possible• Predict what students may confuse in the

definition or explanation

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Teaching a Word6. Provide a nonlinguistic

representation of the word

• Drawing pictures

• Physical models

• Kinesthetic activity

• Graphic organizers

• Mental pictures/keyword methodMarzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001

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Teaching a Word

7. Solicit questions and answers to check for understanding

8. Put the new words in a Vocabulary Log

9. Provide multiple exposures to target words through rich instruction• Semantic mapping/nascent nomenclature

− nurse, thermometer, germs− virus, anesthetic, prescription− syndrome, placebo, litmus

• Linear arrays/word lines− slow-fast− hard-easy

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Direct Vocabulary Instruction―Word Parts

Word parts include prefixes, roots, and suffixes

• Building a bridge to other vocabulary words• Introspective

− Prefix: INTRO―within or inward

− Root: SPECT―look

− Suffix: IVE―to tend to or to lean toward• Definition―to tend to look inward

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Word Parts―Frequency of Prefixes

The Most Frequent Prefixes in The American Heritage Word Frequency Book, Carrol et al., 1971Prefix Words with the prefixun- 782re- 401in-, im-, ir-, il- (not) 313dis- 216en-, em- 132non- 126in-, im- (in or into) 105over- (too much) 98mis- 83White, Sowell, and Yanagihara (1989) contend that only these nine need to be systematically taught.

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Teaching Prefixes

Day 1: Introduction and four facts about prefixes

Day 2: Explicit instruction on the first three prefixes

Day 3: The prefix removal and replacement strategy and three more prefixes

Day 4: Review and assessment on the four facts about prefixes, the steps of the prefix removal and replacement strategy, and the meanings of the six prefixes taught

Baumann and Kame’enui, 2004.

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Indirect Vocabulary Instruction― Context Clues

1. Repeated, multiple exposures• To learn a word in context, students need to

be exposed to the word at least six timesJenkins, Stein, & Wysocki, 1984

2. SCANR technique• Substitute a likely synonym for the unknown

word• Check the context for clues that support the

choice• Ask if the substitution fits the context clues• If not, determine if it needs a new idea• Revise the idea so it better fits the context

Jenkins, Matlock, and Slocum, 1989

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Context Clues3. Categories of Natural Context

Misdirective There’s a wireless and lots of books.

Nondirective Paula put down her pirn, wrapped herself in a paduasoy, and entered puerperium.

General Context Eagles eat carrion mostly in the winter, when other food is hard to find.

Directive Context Eagles have talons, or claws, to help hold slippery, wriggling fish.

Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002

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Context Clues Strategies1. Definitions or synonyms

• Look for words or phrases that mean about the same

• Usually follow a comma, a dash, or words like or, is called, that is, in other words

2. Concrete examples• The author provides examples to clarify a

difficult concept or idea• Look for signal words: such as, including, for

instance, to illustrate, are examples of, for example

3. Description clues• The author may use many sentences to describe

a word• Keep reading. Sometimes the meaning is in the

next paragraph

Materials from Reader’s Handbook: A Student Guide for Reading and Learning, Grades 6-8, by Laura Robb et al. copyright © 2002. Displayed with special permission of Great Source Education

Group/Houghton Mifflin Company. All Rights Reserved.

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Context Clues Strategies

4. Contrast clues• Look for the opposite meaning or a

situation that illustrates the opposite meaning

5. Unstated or implied meanings• Sometimes you have to use what you know

to figure out what the author is trying to say

6. Repeating words• Writers like to make sure we know the

meanings of hard words so they use the word a number of times

Adapted from Reader’s Handbook, Great Books, 2002.

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Indirect Vocabulary Instruction―General Mood

Look Inside, Look Out

Inside the word Outside the word


Word Parts

Prior Knowledge

Context Clues

General Mood

Herman & Weaver, 1988

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Summing Up Vocabulary

• Vocabulary is important because− readers use their oral vocabulary to make sense of the words

they see in print − readers must know what most of the words mean before they

can understand what they are reading

• Vocabulary can be developed− indirectly, when students engage daily in oral language, listen

to adults read to them, and read extensively on their own − directly, when students are explicitly taught both individual

words and word-learning strategies

Put Reading First: The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read, 2001