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Developing Vocabulary & Enhancing Reading Comprehension. SPC ED 587 October 25, 2006. Note: We won’t go over all of these slides in class. Many of them are FYI as resources; if you would like more info on any of the slides/ideas we don’t discuss, let me know. Vocabulary Development.

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developing vocabulary enhancing reading comprehension

Developing Vocabulary &Enhancing Reading Comprehension

SPC ED 587

October 25, 2006

Note: We won’t go over all of these slides in class. Many of them are FYI as resources;

if you would like more info on any of the slides/ideas we don’t discuss, let me know.

vocabulary development
Vocabulary Development
  • Children typically learn approximately 3,000 words per year! (that’s 7-10 words a day!!!)
  • Gain new vocabulary through school (instruction) and through family activities, trips, hobbies, reading independently, etc.

Tompkins, 2007

vocabulary words a child understands and uses in listening speaking reading and writing
Vocabulary: words a child understands and uses in listening, speaking, reading, and writing
  • Listening vocabulary - words a child understands when s/he hears them spoken; includes words that the child understands but may not use in his or her everyday conversation
  • Speaking vocabulary - words students understand and routinely uses when speaking
  • Reading vocabulary - words a child can read and understand
  • Writingvocabulary words child understands and can use when composing text.
stages of word learning adapted from dade o rourke 1971
Stages of Word Learning(adapted from Dade & O’Rourke, 1971)
  • I never saw it before!
  • I’ve heard of it or I can pronounce it, but I don’t know what it means.
  • I recognize it in context - It has something to do with. . .; I know one of its meanings
  • I know it. I know what it means and can use it in several ways or contexts.
teaching vocabulary
Teaching Vocabulary
  • Indirectly
    • Conversations
    • Teacher read-alouds*
    • Reading independently
  • Directly
    • Direct instruction on a small number of meaningful words at a time, across time
    • Instruction that requires active participation
    • Learning to use resources (e.g., dictionaries)

* “Researchers report that children learn as many words incidentally while listening to teachers read aloud as they do by reading themselves.” (Stahl et al., 1991 as cited in Tompkins, 2007)

teaching vocabulary7
Teaching Vocabulary
  • Build on what students know and relate new words to students’ lives/experiences
    • E.g., Word Watch
    • Look up words that have entered English via students’ own linguistic background (e.g., tornado: Spanish: tornar [to turn])
  • Teach for depth and breadth
    • E.g., What it Is and What it Isn’t
  • Use engaging activities to create interest
    • E.g., Word Posters
teaching vocabulary more ideas
Teaching Vocabulary: More ideas
  • Word Study
    • Concepts and meanings
    • Multiple meanings
    • Compound words
    • Synonyms, antonyms, homonyms, figurative meanings
  • Word Walls, Word Maps
  • Word Sorts – adapt for meaning or use
  • Quiz Me Cards & Definition Cards (see Keefe chapter [in press])
teaching vocabulary9
Teaching Vocabulary
  • Provide repetition and systematic review
    • “children need to read, write, and/or use words 8-10 times or more before they can automatically recognize them and remember their meanings”
  • Teach for independence
    • Teach use of resources (e.g., how to use a dictionary; how to ask for help)
comprehension is the point
Comprehension is “The Point”

“. . . reader’s process of using prior experiences and the author’s text to construct meaning that is useful to that reader for a specific purpose.” (p. 252)

theories of comprehension
Theories of Comprehension
  • Schema Theory
          • Mental/Situation Models
factors affecting comprehension
Factors Affecting Comprehension
  • Decoding and fluency skills
  • Vocabulary
  • Background knowledge
  • Academic vs. conversational vocabulary
  • Understanding structure of written language
  • Processing abilities
  • Understanding the purpose for a reading
  • Cognitive abilities/skills
assessing reading comprehension
Assessing Reading Comprehension
  • Graded passage with comprehension questions (e.g., Brigance, IRI)
  • Story re-telling or acting out
  • Think-alouds (to see how student is attempting comprehension
  • Assessing background knowledge (e.g., webbing, graphic organizers such as KWL)
assessing reading comprehension14
Assessing Reading Comprehension
  • Maze:

Jim took a trip to see his grandmother. He had to ride in a (car/book/hat) to get to her house. Jim ate lots of good (it/mud/food) at his grandmother’s house. He likes going to see his (cat/grandmother/bus).

  • Picture Cards: story re-tellings; answering comprehension questions
teachers who were excellent at facilitating comprehension
Teachers who were excellent at facilitating comprehension:
  • Built language at every opportunity
  • Activated/built students’ background knowledge (schema)
  • Provided a purpose for reading
      • think-alouds
  • Followed up on that purpose after reading
  • Taught prediction
  • Continuously motivated students to read for meaning
  • Taught strategies to identify the main idea
comprehension repair strategies
Comprehension Repair Strategies
  • Click – Clunk
    • Read on.
    • Reread sentence.
    • Reread paragraph or section.
    • Look for information from a resource such as a dictionary or glossary.
    • Ask someone else for help.
content through reading guides
Content through reading guides
  • Teacher can develop guide questions or student or small group can develop questions.
  • Students can work with guides independently or in small groups.
content through strategy use
Content through strategy use


Graphic Organizers

Admit-Exit Strategy


Question-Answer-Relationship Guide

Directed Reading-Thinking Activity (DR-TA)

Say-Something Paired Reading

example of a reading comprehension strategy read ask paraphrase rap
Example of a Reading Comprehension Strategy:Read -- Ask -- Paraphrase (RAP)
  • Read paragraph to yourself.
  • Ask yourself what is the main idea.
  • Put the paragraph into your own words and tell it to your partner.
  • Switch roles.
enhance content learning through modifications to text
Enhance Content learning through modifications to text


Highlighted texts

Increased font size

enhance content learning through varying mediums
Enhance Content learning through varying mediums

Tape-recorded books entrance.htm


Books on CD


content through read alouds
Content through Read-Alouds
  • Teacher reads a selection aloud to entire class
    • Good as ‘grabbers’/hooks
    • Allow students to focus on content vs. decoding
    • May aid in memory b/c of multiple avenues of input
    • Model fluent oral reading (support language acquisition for ELL students)
content through shared reading
Content through Shared Reading
  • Teacher reads aloud while students are looking at text
    • Be explicit about the purpose of the reading
    • Model and teach a specific strategy (e.g., inference, text features, map reading)
      • Provide a follow-up activity that allows students to practice the modeled strategy