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Module 7: Vocabulary Evidence and Strategies. PPLSP Training Modules. 1. Introduction to the Five Components of Reading 2. Introduction to the PPLSP and CBLA 3. Instructional Strategies 4. Phonemic Awareness Evidence and Strategies 5. Phonics Evidence and Strategies

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Module 7 vocabulary evidence and strategies

Module 7:Vocabulary Evidence and Strategies

Pplsp training modules
PPLSP Training Modules

1.Introduction to the Five Components of Reading

2.Introduction to the PPLSP and CBLA

3.Instructional Strategies

4.Phonemic Awareness Evidence and Strategies

5.Phonics Evidence and Strategies

6.Fluency Evidence and Strategies

7.Vocabulary Evidence and Strategies

8.Comprehension Evidence and Strategies

9.Reading Strategies for Secondary Teachers in other Content Areas

10. Bodies of Evidence and a Process for Building the ILP

Goals for this module
Goals for this Module

  • To increase background knowledge of the vocabulary component

  • To clarify what reading problems might identify students who struggle with vocabulary

  • To provide direction in helping students improve vocabulary

Connect two
Connect Two




Word Study



  • Copy the list as it appears above.

  • Make connections between items in each column and explain why you made the connections you did.

Not just a place for money
Not Just a Place for Money

“Bank” isn’t just where you go while laughing (“laughing all the way to the bank”).

Take a moment to use this word with as many definitions as possible.

What is vocabulary
What Is Vocabulary?

  • Vocabulary refers to words and concepts necessary for effective communication.

  • Vocabulary is a key to effective communication, both orally and in print.

    (Put Reading First, p. 45)

Why vocabulary is important
Why Vocabulary Is Important?

Not surprisingly, there is a wealth of research indicating that vocabulary instruction impacts comprehension.

(National Reading Panel, Reports of the Subgroups, p. 4-20)

Don t get confused
Don’t Get Confused!

Often, what appears to be a comprehension problem turns out to be a vocabulary problem—students need to have conceptual knowledge before they are able to comprehend text.

Don t get even more confused
Don’t Get Even More Confused!

Often, what appears to be a vocabulary problem turns out to be a phonics problem—if students can’t decode a word, they aren’t able to demonstrate knowledge of the word’s meaning.

What the research says
What the Research Says:

  • 3 tiers of vocabulary

    • Tier 1: words and concepts familiar to the student

    • Tier 2: high frequency, unknown words and concepts

    • Tier 3: obtuse words and concepts

  • Focus on high frequency, but unknown words and concepts for vocabulary instruction.

    (Pikes Peak Literacy Strategies Project, p. 23)

What the research says1
What the Research Says:

  • When teaching specific vocabulary words, refrain from overloading students with too many vocabulary words (perhaps 8-10 per week).

  • Teach words that

    • will be useful in many contexts and to future learning,

    • are critical to comprehension,

    • are difficult (having multiple meanings, idioms, etc.).

      (Put Reading First, pp. 41-2)

Overarching vocabulary strategies
Overarching Vocabulary Strategies

  • Repeated multiple exposures

  • Indirect and direct instruction

  • Multimedia methods

  • Association methods (connections)

  • Task restructuring

  • Pre-instruction of selected words

  • Teaching in context

    (National Reading Panel, Reports of the Subgroups pp. 4-24 – 4-27)

Indirect vocabulary learning
Indirect Vocabulary Learning

  • Children learn most vocabulary indirectly, through their actual experiences with language.

  • This learning occurs

    • by attending to oral language.

    • by listening to adults reading.

    • by reading independently.

      (Put Reading First, p. 35)

Direct vocabulary instruction
Direct Vocabulary Instruction

  • Direct vocabulary instruction breaks down into two essential categories:

    • Specific word instruction

    • Word learning strategies

      (Put Reading First, p. 35)

Specific word instruction
Specific Word Instruction

  • Teachers can help students learn specific words by:

    • Teaching selected words before reading.

      • Try sentence lifting, context, and discussion.

    • Providing extended, long-term instruction.

      • Have students see and use words in varied contexts.

    • Repeating exposure to vocabulary.

      • Again, varying the contexts allows for greater learning.

        (Put Reading First, p. 36)

Word learning strategies
Word Learning Strategies

  • Teachers can help students help themselves by teaching how to:

    • Use dictionaries and other reference materials.

      • Which definition works in this context?

    • Use word parts (affixes and root words) to determine meaning.

      • Submarine (sub=below, marine=sea)

    • Use context clues to determine meaning.

      • Sara was distraught when she finally learned the horrible news.

        (Put Reading First, pp. 37-40)

Vocabulary assessment
Vocabulary Assessment

  • Standardized tests are best used as a baseline measure.

  • Teacher-generated assessments that closely match instruction give the clearest information about vocabulary instruction and student learning.

    (National Reading Panel, Reports of the Subgroups pp. 4-24 – 4-27 )

Informal vocabulary assessment
Informal Vocabulary Assessment

  • A student might need help in vocabulary when he or she:

    • Regularly asks for word meanings

    • Misuses words

    • Uses words repetitively

    • Generalizes word parts

    • Has difficulty with word usage

    • Experiences comprehension break downs

Vocabulary and ell
Vocabulary and ELL

  • Bilingual readers rely on vocabulary for making meaning while reading more so than their monolingual peers

    (McLaughlin, et al., 2000)

Vocabulary skills
Vocabulary Skills




Word Knowledge


Evidence of Skill

  • Student is able to:

    • Fluently use a wide and varied vocabulary.

    • Express thoughts and ideas in a variety of circumstances.

      (Pikes Peak Literacy Strategies Project, p. 31)


Evidence of Need

  • The student is unable to:

    • Supply appropriate words in context when speaking and/or writing.

      (Pikes Peak Literacy Strategies Project, p. 31)

Varied and repeated applications
Varied and Repeated Applications

  • Before any of us can really know a word, we need to see and hear it many times and many ways.

  • Plan for the reoccurrence of new vocabulary. Repeated practice over time, especially in authentic texts and situations, will help retention.

Take a risk
Take a Risk

  • Risk taking in vocabulary is important for learning new words.

  • After direct instruction of new words, encourage students to play with them in different ways.

  • Provide safe places for them to get the feel of a new word without being penalized (journals, discussion, learning logs, etc.)


  • Boondoggle: (n) a trifling or pointless project, expenditure, etc.; now esp., one financed by public funds.

  • Boondoggle: (vi) to engage in a boondoggle

  • Boondoggler: (n)

    (definition from Webster’s New World

    College Dictionary, fourth edition)


Evidence of Skill

  • Student is able to:

    • Discern intended meanings of words across a variety of content areas.

    • Read unfamiliar subject matter using context clues to understand unknown vocabulary.

    • Confidently relay what was just read.

      (Pikes Peak Literacy Strategies Project, p. 31)


Evidence of Need

  • The student is unable to:

    • Use the context within an unfamiliar selection to gain meaning of a new vocabulary word.

    • Relay an understanding of what was just read.

    • Appears confused during and after reading, even when the student was on task during the reading.

      (Pikes Peak Literacy Strategies Project, p. 31)

Vocabulary teaching strategy use this five step process
Vocabulary Teaching StrategyUse this five-step process

  • Present students with a brief explanation or description of the new term or phrase.

  • Present students with a nonlinguistic representation of the new term or phrase.

  • Ask students to generate their own explanations or descriptions of the term or phrase.

  • Ask students to create their own nonlinguistic representation of the term or phrase.

  • Periodically ask students to review the accuracy of their explanations and representations.

    ( McREL, 2001)

Context clues
Context Clues

“eschew obfuscation”

  • Janie was determined to eschew the advances of her unwanted caller, but he was amazingly difficult to avoid.

  • The students never understood the confusing language of the teacher—but the teacher denied any such obfuscation.

The frayer model
The Frayer Model

Definition(in own words)




(from own life)

Nonexamples(from own life)

Frayer, et al. (1969)

Word knowledge
Word Knowledge

Evidence of Skill

The student is able to:

  • Discern meanings of words by looking at their structure.

    • preheat, preheated

    • interact, interaction

      (Pikes Peak Literacy Strategies Project, p. 31)

Word knowledge1
Word Knowledge

Evidence of Need

The student is unable to:

  • Break words into meaningful chunks (word families, affixes, compounds) to comprehend new words

    • immigrate, immigration, immigrated

      (Pikes Peak Literacy Strategies Project, p. 31)

Strategy for tomorrow
Strategy for Tomorrow

Memory Devices

  • Mnemonics

  • A mnemonic is a word, phrase, rhyme, or similar device that provides a cue to the information to be remembered.

Memory devices
Memory Devices


This works effectively for people,places and most factual information.


The link strategy is used with symbols and substitutes. You link one image to another in a chain or story.

(Hayes, 1981 The Complete Problem Solver)

Don t forget
Don’t forget . . .

  • Vocabulary is essential to comprehension.

  • Vocabulary is dependent on background knowledge.

  • We learn new words both directly and indirectly.

  • Your instruction makes a difference in your students’ vocabulary.

Does a child come to mind
Does a Child Come to Mind?

  • Think of a student who needs help in vocabulary

  • Describe the types of needs the student demonstrates

  • Share with a partner or small group what strategies you might try in order to help this student