Strategies for Vocabulary Development by Dr. Teaching word meanings should be a way what ia an essay students to define their world, to move from light to dark, to a more fine-grained description of the colors that surround us.
A RATIONALE DIRECTLY ADDRESSING VOCABULARY DEVELOPMENT Successful comprehension is, in some significant part, dependent on the reader’s knowledge of word meanings in a given passage. The relation between reading comprehension and vocabulary knowledge is strong and unequivocal. Although the causal direction of the relation is not understood clearly, there is evidence that the relationship is largely reciprocal. However, not all approaches to teaching word meanings improve comprehension.
This chapter will describe some of the most practical and effective strategies that high-school teachers can employ with diverse learners to enhance vocabulary development and increase reading comprehension. Vocabulary acquistion: Instructionaland curricular basics and implications. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1988, pp. There are a number of traditional teaching practices related to vocabulary that deserve to be left in the “instructional dustbin. Let us quickly review the most common of these less effective approaches. There is little research to suggest that context is a very reliable source of learning word meanings.
This, of course, is not to say that context is unimportant but that students need a broader range of instructional guidance than the exhortation “Use context. Rote learning of word meanings is likely to results, at best, in the ability to parrot back what is not clearly understood. Vocabulary learning, like most other learning, must be based on the learner’s active engagement in constructing understanding, not simply on passive re-presenting of information from a text or lecture. Reviewing the research literature on vocabulary instruction leads to the conclusion that there is no single best strategy to teach word meanings but that all effective strategies require students to go beyond the definitional and forge connections between the new and the known.
The following section will explore some practical strategies that secondary teachers can employ to increase the integration, repetition, and meaningful use of new vocabulary. Increase the Amount of Independent Reading The largest influence on students’ vocabulary is the sheer volume of reading they do, especially wide reading that includes a rich variety of texts. This presents a particularly difficult challenge for underprepared high-school students who lack the reading habit. Choose Appropriate Dictionaries for Heterogeneous Classrooms Secondary students certainly need to know how and when to use a dictionary to look up the meanings of unfamiliar words.
Surprisingly, many adolescents lack even the most rudimentary dictionary skills and benefit from some explicit instruction. Many students do not own a dictionary, and if they do, it is often not a very powerful or appropriate resource for clarifying word meanings. English learners may carry a bilingual dictionary, but this resource is generally inadequate for several reasons. First, long-term bilinguals or more recent immigrants with disrupted educational histories may have limited academic vocabulary in the home language.