Word ConsciousnessChapter 13 By Ellie Peterson
“Student who have developed word consciousness use words skillfully; they appreciate the subtleties of word meaning. More than that, word-conscious students are curious about language, like to play with words and enjoy investigating the origins and histories of words.” -Scott and Nagy (2004) p. 570
WHAT:Fostering Word Consciousness Adept diction: the skillful use of words in speech and writing. In a classroom rich with adept diction: • Teachers can model skillful language • Literature can offer skillful diction • Writing conferences can urge students to experiment with word choice
“The teacher who is alert to opportunities for using sophisticated, interesting, and precise language is probably the most important element in a word-rich environment.” -Beck et. Al (2002)
WHATFostering Word Consciousness cont’d. In a successful vocabulary program: Words do not appear as part of a classroom exercise and then drop from sight. INSTEAD: Teachers foster connection between words in the classroom and words in the outside world. One cool idea! --Word Wizard Chart p. 572
WHAT Alerting students to categorization of language contributes to adept diction: Making them aware of: • Synonyms • Denotations • Connotations • Antonyms • Homographs • Similes and Metaphors • Idioms **Knowledge of these terms contributes to a student’s access to figurative language.
Word Play: “a playful attitude toward words in particular and language in general” (Graves 2000) “Word play is sporting with the medium as medium…It plays on the sense and imagery to create the humor and nonsense of unusual connections.” -Moffett&Wagner, 1992
Categories of Word Play Expressions: 1. Proverbs: “Out of sight out of mind” 2. Slang: “junk food” Word Games: 1. Hinks pinks: “Angry father: Mad dad” 2. Puns: “Time flies like a bird” 3. Riddles: “How can you make a baby buggy?” –Tickle his toes! 4. Tongue Twisters: “She sells sea shells by the seashore”
Categories of Word Play Cont’d Names: 1. Eponyms: words derived from names “watt” –after James Watt 2. Toponyms: words derived from a place “sardines” –after the island of Sardinia Word Formations: 1. Acronyms: “ZIP” –Zone Improvement Plan 2. Portmanteaus: motel= motor + hotel Word Manipulations: 1. Anagrams: rearranging the letters of another word read = dear 2. Palindromes: same forward and backward mom, radar
Word Histories and Origins Word consciousness can also be fostered by studying the origin of words. Words in English come from: 1. Anglo Saxon: short everyday words 2. Latin: longer words in literature and textbooks 3. Greek: specialized words in science and tech.
WHY? Because…. “Word Consciousness is crucial to learners’ success in expanding the breadth and depth of students’ word knowledge over the course of their lifetimes.” (Graves and Watts-Taffe, 2002) “Children learn best when they have strong personal interest and are actively and interactively involved with learning…” (Johnson, Johnson,& Schlichting, 2004)
HOW: GREAT LESSON IDEAS! An extensive explanation of lessons listed below is available on pgs. 580-606 ________________________ 1. Animal Idioms 2. Latin and Greek Number Words 3. Antonym Scales 4. Web Word Web 5. Five-senses Simile Web 6. Poetry as Word Play 7. Vocabulary Hotshot Notebook
Blachowiczand Fisher (2002) found that students struggling with reading “almost universally” had not played word games either at home or at school, and that “When we invited them to do so, they often became animated and motivated learners.”