Teaching Vocabulary
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Teaching Vocabulary to Struggling Readers Michael C. McKenna Georgia Southern University. What is vocabulary?. word-hoard. estuary. argon. id. What is vocabulary?. Speaking vocabulary Listening vocabulary Reading vocabulary Writing vocabulary General vocabulary

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Teaching Vocabulary to Struggling Readers Michael C. McKenna Georgia Southern University

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Teaching Vocabulary

to

Struggling Readers

Michael C. McKenna

Georgia Southern University


What is vocabulary?


word-hoard

estuary

argon

id


What is vocabulary?

  • Speaking vocabulary

  • Listening vocabulary

  • Reading vocabulary

  • Writing vocabulary

  • General vocabulary

  • Technical vocabulary

  • Meaning vocabulary

Modality

Domain


What is vocabulary?

  • Speaking vocabulary

  • Listening vocabulary

  • Reading vocabulary

  • Writing vocabulary

  • General vocabulary

  • Technical vocabulary

  • Meaning vocabulary

Modality

Domain


What is vocabulary?

  • Speaking vocabulary

  • Listening vocabulary

  • Reading vocabulary

  • Writing vocabulary

  • General vocabulary

  • Technical vocabulary

  • Meaning vocabulary

Modality

Domain


What is vocabulary?

  • Speaking vocabulary

  • Listening vocabulary

  • Reading vocabulary

  • Writing vocabulary

  • General vocabulary

  • Technical vocabulary

  • Meaning vocabulary

Modality

Domain


What is vocabulary?

  • Speaking vocabulary

  • Listening vocabulary

  • Reading vocabulary

  • Writing vocabulary

  • General vocabulary

  • Technical vocabulary

  • Meaning vocabulary

Modality

Domain


1755 Dictionary of the

English Language


1755 Dictionary of the

English Language

114,000 words


1755 Dictionary of the

English Language

114,000 words

impertransibility

queck

nould


1755 Dictionary of the

English Language

114,000 words

2005 Oxford English

Dictionary (3rd ed.)


1755 Dictionary of the

English Language

114,000 words

2005 Oxford English

Dictionary (3rd ed.)

660,000+ words


webcam

cyberphobic

doh

2005 Oxford English

Dictionary (3rd ed.)

660,000+ words


English users follow set rules for coining new words, thus adding greatly to the number of potential words in the language.


English users follow set rules for coining new words, thus adding greatly to the number of potential words in the language.

The postman likes our street because it is dogless.


Are you a

logophile?


50K

40K

30K

20K

10K

0

5,000 •

1,500•

K12


50K

40K

30K

20K

10K

0

45,000

17,000

5,000

1,500

K12


How do we know which words to teach?


Beck and McKeown’s Three Tiers

Tier 3• Rare words

• 73,500 word families K-12

• Usually content-area related

• Examples: isotope, estuary

Tier 2• Important to academic success

• 7,000 word families

• Not limited to one content area

• Examples: fortunate, ridiculous

Tier 1• The most familiar words

• 8,000 word families

• Known by average 3rd grader

• Examples: happy, go


Beck and McKeown’s Three Tiers

Tier 3• Rare words

• 73,500 word families K-12

• Usually content-area related

• Examples: isotope, estuary

Tier 2• Important to academic success

• 7,000 word families

• Not limited to one content area

• Examples: fortunate, ridiculous

Tier 1• The most familiar words

• 8,000 word families

• Known by average 3rd grader

• Examples: happy, go


Beck and McKeown’s Three Tiers

Tier 3• Rare words

• 73,500 word families K-12

• Usually content-area related

• Examples: isotope, estuary

Tier 2• Important to academic success

• 7,000 word families

• Not limited to one content area

• Examples: fortunate, ridiculous

Tier 1• The most familiar words

• 8,000 word families

• Known by average 3rd grader

• Examples: happy, go


Beck and McKeown’s Three Tiers

Tier 3• Rare words

• 73,500 word families K-12

• Often content-area related

• Examples: isotope, estuary

Tier 2• Important to academic success

• 7,000 word families

• Not limited to one content area

• Examples: fortunate, ridiculous

Tier 1• The most familiar words

• 8,000 word families

• Known by average 3rd grader

• Examples: happy, go


Beck and McKeown’s Three Tiers

Tier 3• Rare words

• 73,500 word families K-12

• Often content-area related

• Examples: isotope, estuary

Tier 2• Important to academic success

• 7,000 word families

• Not limited to one content area

• Examples: fortunate, ridiculous

Tier 1• The most familiar words

• 8,000 word families

• Known by average 3rd grader

• Examples: happy, go


What are some of the guiding principles of teaching vocabulary?


Guiding Principle

Preteach key words to improve comprehension.


In 1367, Marain and the settlements ended a seven-year war with the Langurians and Pitoks. As a result of this war, Languria was driven out of East Bacol. Marain would now rule Laman and the other lands that once belonged to Languria. This brought peace to the Bacolean settlements. The settlers no longer had to worry about attacks from Laman. The Bacoleans were happy to be part of Marain in 1367. Yet a dozen years later, these same people would be fighting the Marish for independence, or freedom from United Marain’s rule.


In 1763, Britain and the colonies ended a seven-year war with the French and Indians. As a result of this war, France was driven out of North America. Britain would now rule Canada and the other lands that once belonged to France. This brought peace to the American colonies. The settlers no longer had to worry about attacks from Canada. The Americans were happy to be part of Britain in 1763. Yet a dozen years later, these same people would be fighting the British for independence, or freedom from Great Britain’s rule.


Guiding Principle

Provide more than definitions.


WORD =DEFINITION


WORD =DEFINITION

StimulusResponse


WORD =DEFINITION

StimulusResponse

truncate“to cut off”


WORD =DEFINITION

StimulusResponse

truncate“to cut off”

“She truncated the lights.”


Combine definitions and contextual examples.

Guiding Principle


Connotations

What’s the difference between a fiddle and a violin?


Guiding Principle

Introduce new words in related clusters.


antennae

leg

thorax

wing

abdomen

In content areas,

clustering words is natural!


But general vocabulary words can also be clustered –

if you work at it!


Guiding Principle

Stress the connections among related terms.


Guiding Principle

Stress connections among unrelated terms.

“Silly Questions”

Would a hermit be gregarious?

Could a virtuoso be a rival?

– Beck & McKeown


Guiding Principle

Stress connections among unrelated terms.


Guiding Principle

Tie new words to old knowledge.


“Comprehension is building bridges from the new to the known.”– Pearson & Johnson


Guiding Principle

Provide brief, periodic review.


massedvs.distributedpractice


Guiding Principle

Maximize the volume of reading that students do.


The Vocabulary Catch-22

Children need to learn more words to read well, but they need to read well to learn more words.

McKenna, M.C. (2004). Teaching vocabulary to struggling older readers.

Perspectives, 30(1), 13-16.


Guiding Principle

Minimize rote copying of definitions.


What are some research-based ways of teaching vocabulary?


Some Research-Based Techniques

  • Read-Alouds

  • Semantic Feature Analysis

  • Other Charting Approaches

  • Graphic Organizers

  • Semantic Maps (webs)

  • Word Sorts

  • Word Lines

  • List-Group-Label

  • Possible Sentences


Read-Alouds


Semantic Feature Analysis


popinary


popinary

“a fry cook”


humansadultfemale

woman + +

man + o

girl o +

boy o o


cooksfriesmakesbakes

thingssalads

popinary + o o

chef + + +

baker + o +adultfemale


cooksfriesmakesbakes

thingssalads

popinary + o o

chef + + +

baker + o +adultfemale


cooksfriesmakesbakes

thingssalads

popinary + o o

chef + + +

baker + o +adultfemale


cooksfriesmakesbakes

thingssalads

popinary+ o o

chef + + +

baker + o +adultfemale


cooksfriesmakesbakes

thingssalads

popinary+o o

chef + + +

baker + o +adultfemale


cooksfriesmakesbakes

thingssalads

popinary+oo

chef + + +

baker + o +adultfemale


cooksfriesmakesbakes

thingssalads

popinary+oo

chef+ + +

baker + o +adultfemale


cooksfriesmakesbakes

thingssalads

popinary+oo

chef+ + +

baker+ o +adultfemale


cooksfriesmakesbakes

thingssalads

popinary+oo

chef+ + +

baker+o +adultfemale


cooksfriesmakesbakes

thingssalads

popinary+oo

chef+ + +

baker+o+adultfemale


cooksfriesmakesbakes

thingssalads

popinary+oo

chef+ + +

baker+++adultfemale


cooksfriesmakesbakes

thingssalads

popinary+oo

chef+ + +

bakers++adultfemale


PlanetsMoon/sRocky SurfaceRings

Mercury o+ o

Venus o+ o

Earth ++ o

Mars ++ o

Jupiter +o +

Saturn +o +

Uranus +o +

Neptune +o +

Pluto ++ o


Graphic Organizers


A graphic organizer is a diagram that shows how key terms are related.


What’s so great about them?

  • They help kids “see” abstract content.

  • There is little to “read.”

  • They are easy to construct and discuss.

  • Technical terms can be taught in clusters.

  • They enhance recall and understanding.

  • They have an impressive research base.


Semantic Maps

(Word Webs)


Founding

Father

Daylight

Savings

Poor Richard’s

Almanac

Ben Franklin

Invented

bifocals

Electricity

(kite)

Philadelphia


Word Lines


hot cold


hot tepid cold


hot tepid coldsweltering


hot tepid coldswelteringchilly


hot tepid coldswelteringchilly


Word Sorts


Open Sort

Categories are not given.

thoraxpupa

abdomenantennae

winglarva

adulthead

eggleg


Closed Sort

PartsStages


Closed Sort

PartsStages

thoraxpupa

abdomenegg

winglarva

headadult

leg

antennae


List-Group-Label


List

Students brainstorm all the words they can recall at the end of a unit.

Group

Students suggest logical ways to group the words.

Label

Students suggest a label for each group they form.


List

Students brainstorm all the words they can recall at the end of a unit.

Group

Students suggest logical ways to group the words.

Label

Students suggest a label for each group they form.


List

Students brainstorm all the words they can recall at the end of a unit.

Group

Students suggest logical ways to group the words.

Label

Students suggest a label for each group they form.


no legsgarter

boa

venom

cobra

fang

scales

coral

tail

rattle

copperhead


no legsgarter

boa

venom

cobra

fang

scales

coral

tail

rattle

copperhead


no legsgarter

boa

venom

cobra

fang

scales

coral

tail

rattle

copperhead

Kinds of Snakes

garter

boa

copperhead

cobra

coral

Things Snakes Might Have

rattle

scales

fang

no legs

venom

tail


no legsgarter

boa

venom

cobra

fang

scales

coral

tail

rattle

copperhead

Kinds of Snakes

garter

boa

copperhead

cobra

coral

Things Snakes Might Have

rattle

scales

fang

no legs

venom

tail


Possible Sentences


Present a list of 8-12 words the students will encounter in the new unit.

Add a few familiar terms.

Ask for sentences containing at least two of the words.

Teach the unit.

Return to the sentences.

Together decide whether they are correct or can be edited to make them so.


Please suggest a sentence containing at least two of the following terms:

connotation

word family

lexicon

syntactic clue

distributed practice

eponym

toponym

popinary


What can we do to increase

children’s vocabularies in

Title I schools?


1. Make vocabulary a schoolwide goal

  • Amend your plan.

  • Establish testable goals.

  • Raise consciousness.

  • Communicate expectations.


2. Provide professional development

  • Focus on research-based methods.

  • Ensure ties to actual materials.

  • Provide follow-up to aid implementation.


3. Establish teacher study groups

  • Organize groups by grade level.

  • Provide time for discussion.

  • Reward participation.

  • Encourage administrator participation.

  • Select resource books.


4. Consider supplemental and

intervention programs

  • Tie their use to assessments.

  • Establish guidelines for use.

  • Locate product reviews.


http://oregonreadingfirst.uoregon.edu


http://www.fcrr.org


mmckenna@georgiasouthern.edu

http://www.georgiasouthern.edu/

~mmckenna


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