Instructional Strategies for Teaching Vocabulary

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					               Instructional Strategies
              for Teaching Vocabulary
   “Making Choices” (from Isabel Beck, p. 57): Tell children, “if any of the
    things I say might be examples of people clutching say, “clutching”. If not,
    don’t say anything:
   --holding a purse tightly
   --softly petting a cat’s fur
   --holding on to branches when climbing a tree
   --blowing bubbles and trying to catch them
   If any of the things I say would make someone look radiant, say “you’d look
    radiant”. If not, don’t say anything:
   --winning a million dollars
   --getting a hug from a favorite movie star
   --walking to the post office
   --cleaning your room
   --having the picture you painted hung in the school hall
          Great Vocabulary Books!
   Favorite books which motivate children about vocabulary learning
   Academic Notebooks (Mazano refers to a spiral notebook or three-
    ring binder; he has a major section devoted to student sustained
    silent reading and other sections are reserved for subject
   Rosenblatt & Iser: it’s important for students to interact with what
    they read; teacher facilitates student interactions and responses.
   Repeated exposure to words helps content be stored in permanent
    memory. When teachers facilitate student interaction on vocabulary,
    then this increases the amount of exposure students have to
    information –expands their language experience base. The more
    students learn about a topic, the more they want to share it with
    others. They become validated in their enthusiasm!
         Vocabulary Instruction &
         Sustained Silent Reading
   Marzano: Students should have direct
    vocabulary instruction on content
    vocabulary. Comprehension will increase
    by 33 percentage points when vocabulary
    instruction focuses on specific words
    important to the content they are reading.
   Isabel Beck’s thoughts
   Independent Reading and R5
    Alternate Reading Program Share

   Edmark
    Qualitative Reading Inventory
   Word Identification: (automaticity—
    measures correct words per minute; % of words
    correctly identified (includes decoding)
   Word Recognition in Isolation (WRI) : flash &
   How to select leveled passages (**Note: QRI is
    on reserve at the library!)
   Word Recognition in Context
   Passage Comprehension (Pre-primer through
    high school; narrative & expository text; prior
    knowledge, predictions, retelling, explicit &
    implicit questions)
                Word Lists
   Measure accuracy of word identification
   Speed & automaticity of word
   Determine starting point for reading
   Cooter Comprehensive Reading Inventory
    uses sentences to find level of reading
            Reading Passages

   Estimate reading level & begin there
   Concept questions for background
   Oral and silent reading
   Different types of text: narrative or
    Measuring Comprehension
  Retelling or unaided recall
 Two types of questions

--implicit & explicit
Look Backs
--without lookbacks—comprehension by
--with lookbacks – comprehension during
   reading; ability to skim
              Materials Needed
   Student instructions handout
   Copies of word lists (use index card or card with
    window cut out as shown before)
   Copies of stories
   Copies of record keeping sheets
   Develop your own system of organization (e.g.
    notebook, plastic sleeves or laminated copies of
       Administering Word Lists
   Rule of Thumb: Start two grades below grade
    level (or administer word list & find out where
    child is scoring at least 70%)
   How accurate when identifying words?
   How automatic when identifying words?
   What decoding strategies are used by student?
   Difference between words in isolation versus
    words in context?
       Administering Word Lists

   Read directions for word lists to student
   Scoring:
   --identified automatically (within a second)
   --identified but delayed (sounded out or
   Self correction – write “c” and count as
       Administering Word Lists
   Find independent, instructional & frustration
   Independent: Total correct: 90% & above, 18-
    20 words
   Instructional: Total correct: 70-89%; 14-17
   Frustration: Total correct: Less than 70%; 13
    words or less
   Once at frustration, STOP!
        Passage Administration
  Use word list level to estimate beginning passage or
   starting point – highest independent word list level
 Assess prior knowledge – use concept questions

 Passage Reading

--select passage based on independent word list reading
--can tape record – prepare student
--do not supply words
--read directions to students
--record miscues/determine instructional level
           Concept Questions
        Assessing Prior Knowledge
   Students who have background knowledge of
    ideas and understand vocabulary prior to
    reading the text are more successful with
   Scoring (QRI-4: pages 55-58)
   3 points
   2 points
   1 point
   0 points
        Comprehension Scoring
     Answers must come from passage
     Do not count answer that comes from prior
      knowledge; no ½ points
    Answer must relate to a clue in the passage
    Be sure to QUERY – what clues in the passage tell you?
          Comprehension Scoring
   Five Questions: Independent Level, 5 correct;
    Instructional Level, 4 correct; Frustration Level, 0-3
   Six Questions: Independent Level, 6 correct;
    Instructional Level, 4-5 correct; Frustration Level, 0-3
   Eight Questions: Independent Level, 8 correct;
    Instructional Level, 6-7 correct; Frustration Level, 0-3
   Ten Questions: Independent Level, 9-10 correct;
    Instructional Level, 7-8 correct; Frustration Level, 0-6
               Assessing Listening
   Good to measure when student has difficulty reading
    and comprehending at the primer level
   Assessing level of material that student can understand
    when material is read to him or her
   Allows teacher to see if student can benefit from orally
    presented material at his or her grade level
   Evaluated same way as oral or silent reading
   Examiner reads passage to student
   Student retells what s/he heard and answers specific
           How To Interpret Results

   Independent Level= the level at which a student can read
    successfully without assistance. Teacher should choose material
    written at this level for free reading pleasure or for independent
    tasks. Also good for fluency practice at independent level (98%
    oral reading accuracy and 90% comprehension on word
   Instructional Level = the level at which a student can read with
    assistance. Oral reading may be less fluent at this level, but it
    should contain some sense of rhythm and expression. Materials
    written at this level should be chosen for reading and content area
    instruction. The teacher introduces concepts and gives background
    knowledge necessary for the understanding of the material. (95-
    97% oral reading accuracy and 70%+ comprehension and
    word lists)
            Interpreting Results
   Frustration Level= teachers should
    avoid material that is at the frustration
    level. At this level, the student is
    completely unable to read the material
    with adequate word identification or
    comprehension. (less than 90% oral
    reading and less than 70%
    comprehension and word lists.)
        Differences in Vocabulary
  Profound differences in vocabulary development and
   knowledge among learners in various socio-economic
--first graders from higher socio-economic status groups
   knew about twice as many words as lower socio-
   economic status children (Graves, Brunetti & Slater,
   1982; Graves & Slater, 1987)
--high school seniors near the top of their class knew about
   four times as many words as their lower performing
   classmates (Smith 1941)
--high knowledge third graders had vocabularies about
   equal to lowest performing 12th graders (Smith, 1941)
--Once established, such differences appear difficult to
   ameliorate (Biemiller, 1999; Hart & Risley, 1995)
    What’s Happening with vocabulary
     instruction and how do children
               learn words?
   Before 2001, studies found very little vocabulary
    instruction in schools—a robust approach involves
    directly explaining the meanings of words along with
    thought-provoking, playful interactive follow up.
   Learning words from context? It does occur, but in the
    course of reading, research shows in small increments.
    (Not every word is learned, and those that are learned
    need multiple encounters; of 100 unfamiliar words met
    in reading, between 5 & 15 will be learned (Beck, p. 3)
    (This presupposes that children are reading extensively
    where they encounter more challenging words & that
    they could infer meaning from context!!!)
    Misdirective contexts, nondirective
       contexts, general contexts &
            directive contexts
   Many natural contexts are not all that informative for deriving word
    meanings. There were many contexts which would confuse
    children. (Examples, p. 4-5, Beck)
   Misdirective Contexts: those that rather than revealing the meaning
    of the target word, seem to direct the student to an incorrect
   Nondirective contexts
   General contexts
   Directive contexts
   Written context: important source for new vocabulary, but relying
    on learning word meanings from independent reading is not an
    adequate way to deal with students’ vocabulary development.
         How one knows a word
   Can be described along a continuum
   No knowledge
   General sense
   Narrow, context-bound knowledge,
   Knowledge of a word by not being able to recall
    it readily enough to use it in appropriate
   Rich, decontextualized knowledge of a word’s
    meaning, it’s relationship to other words, and it’s
    extension to metamorphorical uses
Contextual Clues to teach students
   External context clues: meaning cues in the text
    surrounding a new vocabulary word
   Internal context clues: prefixes, suffixes and stems
   Studies show that instruction above had a moderate
    impact on students’ ability to utilize context clues
   In 4 out of 14 studies, students used context cues in
    absence of any instruction and they did as well as
    students who received instruction in using context! (So
    being prompted to use context and having time to
    practice is as powerful as much more elaborate
   Evidence that teaching morpheme (the smallest units of
    meaning like prefixes, suffixes, root words) can improve
    children’s and adults’ skills at inferring the meanings of
           Language Development
   Most talked about study (Hart & Risley’s Meaningful Differences in Everyday
    Experiences of Young American Children (1995): Authors observed 42
    families over 2 years beginning when each participating child was 6-9
    months old. (Families were from all socio-economic groups.) The amount
    of language a child experienced varied dramatically as a function of social
    class. The less affluent the family, the less was said to the child. Clear
    relationship between the quantity and quality of input of children’s
    vocabulary development.
   Children who experienced the most language in the first three years of life
    were, with the parent’s language interactive style the very strongest
    predictor of reading achievement.
   Reading with children can increase vocabulary – the more parents interact
    with children over books, the better developed is the children’s vocabulary –
    increases children’s language competence. Exciting are studies to support
    parents in the ways to help their children the most.
   Flood classroom with vocabulary rich talk during formal lessons & informal
   Urge more systematic attention to vocabulary – when vocabulary
    acquisition has had an impact on reading –increased reading
Notes Halfway Through our Course!
        Louisa Moats’ article (Summer 1995) on the
         “Missing Foundation in Teacher Education” –
         “graduate level teachers are typically
         undereducated for the very demanding task of
         teaching reading and spelling explicitly.”
         (Gives evidence of gaps of knowledge & how
         important that is to linguistic instruction; policy
         changes occurred
        Update on Personal Goal and my support to
         help you
        Other
        Four minute feedback!
           Teaching Word Parts
   Teaching roots, affixes has been traditional for
    vocabulary development
   Adams (1990): logic of teaching word parts (i.e.
    for “duce” means to lead, & helps children with
    produce, seduce, induce.
   However, teaching beginning or less skilled
    readers about these may be a mistake. (In
    word study program, these don’t appear until
    child is developmentally after the mid-fourth
    grade level!)
   Prefixes augment the meaning of words
   Suffixes change the part of speech of words to
    which they are attached
   Prefix “un” accounts for 26% of total number of
    prefixed words
   More than half (51%) of the prefixed words
    have “un”, “re” and “in”(not)
   Four prefixes (un, re, in and dis) account for
    58% of prefixed words!
           Six Lessons for Affixes
           by White & colleagues
   Teacher gives concept of prefix (difference
    between unkind and refill and trick words such
    as uncle & reason
   Teacher explains meaning of “un” and “dis”
   Addresses negative meanings of in, im, ir & non
   Address less common meaning of un and dis (do
    the opposite) and less common meaning of in
    and im (in and into
   Teacher explains and exemplifies and meanings
    of en, em, over and mis
    Relationship Between Grammatical
           Awareness & Reading
   Syntax is grammar—derived from Greek word for “arrangement”
   Syntax is the “way in which words are arranged to show relationships of
    meaning within and sometimes between sentences
   Chomsky (who developed most influential theoretical frameworks for syntax
    said that humans are biologically predisposed to acquire language
   True! By age five, children master the syntax rules of their native
    languages and their language is more adult like! Their knowledge of syntax
    is implicit!
   Children who perform well on measures of grammatical awareness (from
    speech therapists’ text on syntactic absurdities—Rides Sally bike her—make
    a sentence) tend to be good readers.
   Good readers who have greater sensitivity to syntax could monitor reading
    better. Then why do poor readers have difficulty with this?
   Syntactic awareness is one aspect of more general language delay or deficit
    in language. It could be a deficit in grammatical awareness is indicative of
    more global language problem.
Grammatical Awareness & Reading,
   Lots of studies show correlation between early deficits in
    language & reading difficulties well into adolescent
   Those with understanding language are at most risk.
    Even those with expressive language problems are at
    some risk.
   Other researchers: deficits in working memory cause
    what appears to be deficits in syntactic skills
   Some linguistic deficits may be a consequence of reading
    disabilities rather than the effect of preexisting language
    problems. Good readers read more than poor readers
    and are exposed to more language.
    What Can Parents & Teachers Do?
          (to support syntax)
   Model complex syntax in conversations with children
   Ask questions so children elaborate on and extend their ideas
   Parents should read aloud to children with reading disabilities –
    expose children to books that are linguistically more complex than
    they are capable of reading
   Use reciprocal teaching to help children with text that has more
    complex syntax: is technique for more strategic readers—uses
    questioning, clarifying, predicting and summarizing.
   Teachers can read ahead & find difficult sentences or portions.
    Teacher can model questions to help clarify meaning: Who was
    doing the action? What are they doing? Where are they? What
    happened first? If kids answer correctly, say, “How did you know?
    Children can go back and reread in text to support their answers.
   Clarifying step can also be used to help with misunderstandings:
    students could restate difficult sentences in their own words. They
    could use background knowledge and overall context to
    comprehend complex sentences.

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