Expanding Vocabulary Development in Young Children What Research Says about Why, How, and What . Reading First Georgia Department of Education 2009-2010
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 Research-based 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 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 PreK 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 (Biemiller, 2005b)
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 Quantityof Words Heard Quality of Words Heard
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 McKeown, & Linda Kucan
Let’s Practice………………. • Now, with your buddy turn to page 99 in Creating Robust Vocabulary.Read The Tailor. Underline the words you think might be Tier II words. • Write/highlight the words that you and your buddy identify.
Remain calm!!!! There are NO Tier II police :>)
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 non-examples. • 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 • approach • area • assessment • assume • authority • available • benefit • concept • consistent • constitutional • context • contract • create • data • definition • environment • established • estimate • evidence • export • financial • formula • function http://language.massey.ac.nz/staff/awl/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
Explicit Instruction of Words - Selection of words • Also, teach idioms (A phrase or expression in which the entire meaning is different from the usual meaning of the the individual words.) “The car rolling down the hill caught my eye.” “Soon we were in stitches.” “The painting cost me an arm and a leg.” “The teacher was under the weather.”
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.
Read-Alouds • Vocabulary can be gained from listening to others read. • Listening to a book being read can significantly improve children’s expressive vocabulary. (Nicholson & Whyte, 1992; Senechal & Cornell, 1993) • Print vocabulary is more extensive and diverse than oral vocabulary. (Hays, Wolfe, & Wolfe, 1996) • Wide disparities exist in the amount of time parents read to their children before lst grade. • Adams (1990) estimated that she spent at least 1000 hours reading books to her son before he entered first grade. • Teale (1984) observed that in low-income homes the children were read to for about 60 hours prior to first grade.
Read-Alouds • Choose interesting, engaging stories that attract and hold children’s attention. The books should also be somewhat challenging. (Biemiller, 1995; Elley, 1989) • Use performance-oriented reading. Read with expression and enthusiasm. • Provide students with a little explanation of novel words that are encountered in context. (Brabham & Lynch-Brown, 2002; Brett, Rothlein & Hurley, 1996; Beck, Perfetti, & McKeon, 1982; Elley, 1989; Penno, Wilkinson, &Moore, 2002; wasik & Bond, 2001; Whitehurst et al., 1998)
Read-Alouds • Actively engage students during the story book reading to increase vocabulary gains. (Dickerson & Smith, 1994; Hargrave & Senechal, 2000; Senechal, 1997) • Ask questions that promote passage comprehension. Retell and prediction questions are particularly useful. • Use a variety of responses including: • Group (choral) responses • Partner responses • Physical responses
Read-Alouds • For young students, read the book several times to increase greater gains in vocabulary. (Senechal, 1997) • Provide a rich discussion before and after reading of the book. • “What was your favorite part of the book?” • “What really surprised you in the story?” • “What would be another ending for the story?”
Explicit Instruction - Prepare - Student-Friendly Explanations • Dictionary Definition • relieved - (1) To free wholly or partly from pain, stress, pressure. (2) To lessen or alleviate, as pain or pressure • Student-Friendly Explanation (Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2003) • Uses known words. • Is easy to understand. • When something that was difficult is over or never happened at all, you feel relieved.
Explicit Instruction - Prepare - Student-Friendly Explanations • Dictionary Definition • Attention - a. the act or state of attending through applying the mind to an object of sense or thought b. a condition of readiness for such attention involving a selective narrowing of consciousness and receptivity • Explanation from Dictionary for English Language Learners (Elementary Learner’s Dictionary published by Oxford) • Attention - looking or listening carefully and with interest
Explicit Instruction- Practice ActivityWrite Student-Friendly Explanations
Instructional Routine for Vocabulary Step 1. Introduce the word. • Write the word on the board or overhead. • Read the word and have the students repeat the word. If the word is difficult to pronounce or unfamiliar have the students repeat the word a number of times. Introduce the word with me. “ This word is compulsory. What word?”
Instructional Routine for Vocabulary (continued) Step 2. Introduce meaning of word. Option # 1. Present a student-friendly explanation. • Tell students the explanation. OR • Have them read the explanation with you. Present the definition with me. “When something is required and you must do it, it is compulsory. So if it is required and you must do it, it is _______________.”
Instructional Routine for Vocabulary (continued) Step 2. Introduce meaning of word. Option # 2. Have students locate the definition in the glossary or text. • Have them locate the word in the glossary or text. • Have them break the definition into the critical attributes. Glossary Entry: Industrial Revolution Social and economic changes in Great Britain, Europe, and the United States that began around 1750 and resulted from making products in factories Industrial Revolution • Social & economic changes • Great Britain, Europe, US • Began around 1750 • Resulted from making products in factories
Instructional Routine for Vocabulary (continued) Step 2. Introduce meaning of word. Option # 3. Introduce the word using the morphographs in the word. • Introduce word in relationship to “word relatives”. • Declare *maintain Declaration of Independence *maintenance • analyze analyzing analysis b. Analyze parts of word. • autobiography auto = self bio = life graph = letters, words, or pictures
Instructional Routine for Vocabulary (continued) Step 3. Illustrate the word with examples. • Concrete examples. • Visual examples. • Verbal examples. (Also discuss when the term might be used and who might use the term.) Presentthe examples with me. “Coming to school as 8th graders is compulsory.” “Stopping at a stop sign when driving is compulsory.”
Instructional Routine for Vocabulary (Continued) Step 4. Check students’ understanding. Option #1. Ask deep processing questions.Check students’ understanding with me. “Many things become compulsory. Why do you think something would become compulsory?”
Instructional Routine for Vocabulary (continued) Step 4. Check students’ understanding. Option #2. Have students discern between examples and non-examples. Check students’ understanding with me. “Is going to school in 8th grade compulsory?” Yes “How do you know it is compulsory?” It is required. “Is going to college when you are 25 compulsory?” “Why is it not compulsory?” It is not required. You get to choose to go to college.
Instructional Routine for Vocabulary (continued) Step 4. Check students’ understanding. Option #3. Have students generate their own examples. Check students’ understanding with me. “There are many things at this school that are compulsory? Think of as many things as you can?” “Talk with your partner. See how many things you can think of that are compulsory.”
Practice Activity: Example A 1. Introduce the word.This word is migrate. What word? 2. Present a student-friendly explanation.When birds or other animals move from one place to another at a certain time each year, they migrate. So if birds move to a new place in the winter or spring, we say that the birds _________________. Animals usually migrate to find a warmer place to live or to get food. 3. Illustrate the word with examples.Sandhill Cranes fly from the North to the South so they can live in a warmer place. Sandhill Cranes _______________.