Vocabulary Strategies that Promote Comprehension Susan Lenski Portland State University firstname.lastname@example.org
Why Focus on Vocabulary? • Both important and ignored (Biemiller, 2006) • One of the NRP five researched components of reading (NICHD, 2000) • Instruction can have a huge impact (Stahl, 1999) • It’s fun!
General Vocabulary Information How many different words are there in the English language? • 100,000 • 300,000 • 750,000
How many different words including word forms such as prefixes? • A. 750,000 • B. 1 million • C. 2 million
Answer • 2,000,000!
How many new terms in a typical biology textbook? • 750 • 1,500 • 2,225 • 3,000 • 3,500
3,500 • (50% more new words than are presented in a semester of foreign language instruction.)
How many words do kindergarteners know when entering school? • A. Not enough! • B. Between 10,000 and 14,000 • C. It depends if it’s my child!
How Words are Learned • Bubble Net
Teaching and Learning • Teach not test • Time (30 minutes per day) • Teach 3-5 new words per day. • Review. Students probably need 30-40 exposures to new words before they really know them. • Students will remember 25-40% of the words you teach.
Encourage Word Learning Have fun with words!
Long Words • Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis
"a word alleged to mean 'a lung disease caused by the inhalation of very fine silica dust found in volcanoes' but occurring chiefly as an instance of a very long word.“
REAL SIGNS • Muffler Shop: No appointment necessary. We hear you coming. • Optometrist’s Office: If you don’t see what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place. • Maternity Room Door: Push, Push, PUSH! • Plastic Surgeon: Hello. Can we pick your nose?
Words to Teach: Three Tiers • Tier 1: Words students already know, such as • Tier 2: Words students do not know but should learn that have high utility in the discipline, such as • Ask: How useful is the word? Will students use it often in other situations?
Words to Teach: Three Tiers • Tier 3: Words that are unknown but rarely used, such as • Ask: How important is it for me to spend time teaching this word and for students to spend energy learning it?
Word Ladder • Sequence words • Words with shades of meaning
Finding relationships among words • Strategy: Possible Sentences • Below are some words you will find in your reading. Write a sentence using 2 of these words that you think will be in the story. • Snouts, javelina, fortune, lazily, coyote, hullabaloo