As evidenced by research, vocabulary knowledge correlates with comprehension. Pre Teaching vocabulary can result in significant gains in comprehension. In addition, long-term vocabulary instruction, in which words are taught and reinforced over a period of time, enhances comprehension of text that contains the words. Vocabulary also affects communication. An individual with a large vocabulary is more able to produce coherent speech and comprehend when listening to others. Vocabulary instruction should not only be relegated to the language arts period, but instead should occur throughout the day in all content areas.
General principles of vocabulary instruction include the following: Teachers should 1) integrate new words with networks of schemata, 2) help students develop or expand word knowledge, 3) actively involve students in learning new words, 4) help students acquire strategies for independent vocabulary development, 5) provide for effective repetition in multiple contexts, and 6) engage students in meaningful use of words.
Word learning is incremental and involves both direct and vicarious experiences. When choosing words for instruction, teachers should be aware of three tiers of vocabulary and focus on tiers 2 and 3. Tier 1 consists of basic words, tier 2 consists of high-frequency and high-utility words, and tier 3 consists of low-frequency words that are often encountered in content textbooks.
Children can be taught specific context clues including definition clues, appositive clues, comparison clues, contrast clues, and exam clues. Teachers can help students learn how to use context clues through the use of direct instruction. Think-aloud is recommended for modeling how to use context clues and for decision-making processes regarding the importance of determining the meaning of the word, the usefulness of the contexts, and the kinds of clues available.
Definitions of words can also be gleaned through the use of morphemic analysis. Morphemes are the smallest unit of meaning within a word. Free morphemes are root words. Bound morphemes include prefixes, suffixes, and inflectional endings.
The use of categorization is one way to help students make connections among words. Word sorts, word walls, analogies, semantic maps, word webs, and semantic feature analysis are types of categorization activities. Students can also be taught to use a dictionary and thesaurus. The study of word origins and histories can also enhance vocabulary development. Figurative language can be challenging for students and needs to be explicitly taught. When teachers combine various vocabulary strategies, they allow students to focus on multiple aspects of words.
Your Application of chapter concepts:
1.Some teachers think that having students learn the dictionary definition of weekly teacher-chosen vocabulary words is a good approach to vocabulary instruction. Others believe in more use of student-centered methods to help students acquire meaning vocabulary. What do you think, and why?
In a PowerPoint slide or Prezi presentation summarize the main vocabulary concepts of chapter 8.
3. Define and explain with examples why as a teacher Morphemic analysis should be explicitly taught to students.
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