Effective Vocabulary Instruction

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This Powerpoint Presentation is for ESL teachers to more effectively teach vocabulary to students so that they will better remember new words.


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Laura Beth Hattersley

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Effective Vocabulary Instruction : Effective Vocabulary Instruction Putting Research into Practice in the Classroom

“Nine Things Every Teacher Should Know about Words and Vocabulary Instruction” Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, International Reading Association, April 2007 : 2 “Nine Things Every Teacher Should Know about Words and Vocabulary Instruction” Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy , International Reading Association, April 2007 English is a huge and unique collection of words. The rules of English are simple and consistent compared to other languages. Language proficiency grows from oral competence to written competence. Words are learned because of associations that connect the new with the known. Seventy percent of the most frequently used words have multiple meanings. Meanings of 60% of multisyllabic words can be inferred by analyzing word parts. Direct instruction in vocabulary influences comprehension more than any other factor. Teaching fewer words well is more effective than teaching several words in a cursory way. Effective teachers display an attitude of excitement and interest in words and language.

“Nine Things Every Teacher Should Know about Words and Vocabulary Instruction” : 3 “Nine Things Every Teacher Should Know about Words and Vocabulary Instruction” Words are learned because of associations that connect the new with the known. Retention is enhanced when new information is linked to information already existing in the brain. New words are dual-coded in the brain: 1) linguistic form (print, meaning) 2) nonlinguistic form (visual and sensory images)

“Nine Things Every Teacher Should Know about Words and Vocabulary Instruction” : 4 “Nine Things Every Teacher Should Know about Words and Vocabulary Instruction” Direct instruction in vocabulary influences comprehension more than any other factor. Integration Repetition Meaningful use

“Nine Things Every Teacher Should Know about Words and Vocabulary Instruction” : 5 “Nine Things Every Teacher Should Know about Words and Vocabulary Instruction” Teaching fewer words well is more effective than teaching several words in a cursory way. Redundancy in texts Rich vocabulary instruction takes time. Choose conceptually difficult words essential to comprehension or likely to prove useful. Incidental vocabulary learning will supply students with other words.

“Nine Things Every Teacher Should Know about Words and Vocabulary Instruction” Teaching fewer words well . . . : 6 “Nine Things Every Teacher Should Know about Words and Vocabulary Instruction” Teaching fewer words well . . . Most common prefixes re- (again: revoke ), un- (not: untrue ), in- (into or not: insight, inert ), en- (in, put into: ensnare ), ex- (out: extinguish ), de- (away, from: deflect, denounce ), com- (together, with: commune ), dis- (apart: dishonest ), pre- (before: predict ), sub- (under: submerge ) Most common roots tract (drag, pull: distract ), spect (look: inspector ), port (carry: portable ), dict (say: dictator ), rupt (break: interrupt ), scrib (write: inscribe ), cred (believe: discredit ), vid (see: evidence ), aud (hear: auditorium )

“Nine Things Every Teacher Should Know about Words and Vocabulary Instruction” Teaching fewer words well . . . : 7 “Nine Things Every Teacher Should Know about Words and Vocabulary Instruction” Teaching fewer words well . . . Most common suffixes -ly (having the quality of: sweetly ), -er (more: smoother ), -able/-ible (able to: deliverable ), -tion/-sion (a thing, a noun: intermission ), -cle (small: particle ), -less (without: clueless ), -est (most: brightest ), -ment (quality or act: contentment ), -ness (quality or act: wildness ), -arium (a place for: terrarium ), -ling (small: hatchling)

“Nine Things Every Teacher Should Know about Words and Vocabulary Instruction” : 8 “Nine Things Every Teacher Should Know about Words and Vocabulary Instruction” Effective teachers display an attitude of excitement and interest in words and language. Do students see you as a glutton for words? Do they see you model effective strategies when meeting new words? Do they see you reading, thus building your vocabulary through incidental learning?

Building Academic Vocabulary Robert J. Marzano & Debra J. Pickering, ASCD 2005 : 9 Building Academic Vocabulary Robert J. Marzano & Debra J. Pickering, ASCD 2005 What is “academic vocabulary”? the 7,923 terms drawn from 11 subject areas extracted from national standards documents and organized into four grade-level intervals Three categories: critically important to understanding the subject area useful but not critical interesting but not very useful . Building Academic Vocabulary , Marzano & Pickering, ASCD, 2005.

Building Academic Vocabulary Robert J. Marzano & Debra J. Pickering, ASCD 2005 : 10 Building Academic Vocabulary Robert J. Marzano & Debra J. Pickering, ASCD 2005 Academic Vocabulary for Language Arts Number of terms by grade-level intervals: K-2 83 3-5 245 6-8 247 9-12 223 TOTAL: 798 Building Academic Vocabulary , Marzano & Pickering, ASCD, 2005.

Building Academic Vocabulary Robert J. Marzano & Debra J. Pickering, ASCD 2005 : 11 Building Academic Vocabulary Robert J. Marzano & Debra J. Pickering, ASCD 2005 Sample Vocabulary for Language Arts K-2: alphabet chapter dictionary front cover letter-sound relationship margin photographer purpose sight word textbook vocabulary 3-5: abbreviation chart cursive fantasy inference multiple sources personal letter proper noun setting synonym word choice Building Academic Vocabulary , Marzano & Pickering, ASCD, 2005.

Building Academic Vocabulary Robert J. Marzano & Debra J. Pickering, ASCD 2005 : 12 Building Academic Vocabulary Robert J. Marzano & Debra J. Pickering, ASCD 2005 Sample Vocabulary for Language Arts 6-8: action segment caption demon-strative pronoun fact vs. opinion historical fiction logic parallel structure projection salutation subliminal mes-sage viewer perception 9-12: acronym artifact cohesion credit dramatic mood change hostile audience lyric poem overstatement questionnaire standard English Building Academic Vocabulary , Marzano & Pickering, ASCD, 2005.

Building Academic Vocabulary Robert J. Marzano & Debra J. Pickering, ASCD 2005 : 13 Building Academic Vocabulary Robert J. Marzano & Debra J. Pickering, ASCD 2005 Two Suggested Approaches: Individual teachers use the list to design a vocabulary program for their students. District or school identifies those terms that “are so important . . . [it] wants to guarantee they are taught to all students.” Building Academic Vocabulary , Marzano & Pickering, ASCD, 2005.

Building Academic Vocabulary Robert J. Marzano & Debra J. Pickering, ASCD 2005 : 14 Building Academic Vocabulary Robert J. Marzano & Debra J. Pickering, ASCD 2005 Scenario: Individual teachers use the list to design a vocabulary program for their students. Choose words from list by Asking “Is this term ‘critically important’ to the content I will teach this year?” Adding terms that are not on the list Whittle list to manageable number (120 terms over 30 weeks = 4 terms per week) Building Academic Vocabulary , Marzano & Pickering, ASCD, 2005.

Building Academic Vocabulary Robert J. Marzano & Debra J. Pickering, ASCD 2005 : 15 Building Academic Vocabulary Robert J. Marzano & Debra J. Pickering, ASCD 2005 Scenario: District or school identifies those terms that “are so important . . . [it] wants to guarantee they are taught to all students.” Organize committee of teachers and curriculum specialists to select terms. Building Academic Vocabulary , Marzano & Pickering, ASCD, 2005.

Building Academic Vocabulary Robert J. Marzano & Debra J. Pickering, ASCD 2005 : 16 Building Academic Vocabulary Robert J. Marzano & Debra J. Pickering, ASCD 2005 Six Steps for Teaching the Selected Terms 1. Provide a description, explanation, or example [NOT a definition] for each term. 2. Ask students to restate the description, explanation, or example in their own words. 3. Ask students to construct a picture, symbol, or graphic representing the term. Building Academic Vocabulary , Marzano & Pickering, ASCD, 2005.

Building Academic Vocabulary Robert J. Marzano & Debra J. Pickering, ASCD 2005 : 17 Building Academic Vocabulary Robert J. Marzano & Debra J. Pickering, ASCD 2005 Six Steps for Teaching the Selected Terms 4. Engage students periodically in notebook activities that help them add to their knowledge of the terms. 5. Periodically ask students to discuss the terms with one another. 6. Involve students periodically in games that allow them to play with terms. Building Academic Vocabulary , Marzano & Pickering, ASCD, 2005.

Building Academic Vocabulary Robert J. Marzano & Debra J. Pickering, ASCD 2005 : 18 Building Academic Vocabulary Robert J. Marzano & Debra J. Pickering, ASCD 2005 Additional Suggestions Involve students in rating how well they are learning the terms. Since there may be variation in the way students describe and represent terms, construct tests—if you decide to give them—with open-ended questions. Consider gradually decreasing the number of terms introduced each week to allow time for Steps 4, 5, and 6 without increasing time devoted to vocabulary instruction. Building Academic Vocabulary , Marzano & Pickering, ASCD, 2005.

Active Literacy Strategies Active Literacy Across the Curriculum: Strategies for Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening by Heidi Hayes Jacobs, 2006 : 19 Active Literacy Strategies Active Literacy Across the Curriculum: Strategies for Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening by Heidi Hayes Jacobs, 2006 Model vocabulary instruction on the world/foreign language class: Is active, interactive, daily, varied modes Demonstrates influence of vocabulary on comprehension Employs words in real contexts 2. Separate vocabulary into three types: High-frequency words Specialized terminology Embellishments

Teaching Vocabulary to Improve Reading Comprehension by William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988 : 20 Teaching Vocabulary to Improve Reading Comprehension by William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988 “Neither [of the two traditional methods of vocabulary instruction—definitional and contextual] taken by itself . . . is an especially effective way to improve reading comprehension.”

Shortcomings of Definitional Method (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) : 21 Shortcomings of Definitional Method (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) Many definitions are simply not very good. Example: “mirror: any surface that is capable of reflecting enough light without scattering it so that it shows an image of any object placed in front of it” Definitions do not contain enough information to allow a student to use the word correctly. Comprehension depends on a wealth of knowledge about the word, not merely the definition.

Shortcomings of Contextual Method (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) : 22 Shortcomings of Contextual Method (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) Context (in real world texts) seldom supplies enough information for the student. Example: “Although Mary was very thin, her sister was obese.” Could “obese” mean “normal,” “unconcerned,” “not jealous”? Most contexts in normal text are relatively uninformative; seldom does any single context give complete information.

Three Properties of Effective Vocabulary Instruction (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) : 23 Three Properties of Effective Vocabulary Instruction (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) 1. Integration (connecting new words with knowledge the student already has) 2. Repetition 3. Meaningful Use

Types of Integration (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) : 24 Types of Integration (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) Semantic Mapping Semantic Feature Analysis Hierarchical Array Linear Array Emphasis on Concepts

Types of Integration: Semantic Mapping (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) : 25 Types of Integration: Semantic Mapping (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) Activates appropriate background knowledge Allows teacher to identify and assess background knowledge of individual students Provides rich basis for further reading and writing Example: Teacher starts lit unit by listing theme (i.e., fear) and asks students to brainstorm related words, categorize the words, and name the categories.

Example of Semantic Map (Little and Suhor 1987) : Words in CAPS provided to students by teacher 26 Example of Semantic Map (Little and Suhor 1987)

Types of Integration: Semantic Feature Analysis (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) : 27 Types of Integration: Semantic Feature Analysis (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) Establishes connections among the items to be taught Example: Teacher lists words in semantically close-knit group (i.e., house, mansion, shack, shed, barn, tent, bungalow, shanty), asks students to create a matrix with these words on the A axis and traits or characteristics on the B axis.

Sample of Semantic Feature Analysis (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) : 28 Sample of Semantic Feature Analysis (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) For living creatures For storage Big and fancy Crude and rough Permanent House + 0 0 0 + Mansion + 0 + - + Shack + ? Shed ? barn

Types of Integration: Hierarchical Array (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) : 29 Types of Integration: Hierarchical Array (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) Student groups words according to their hierarchical or taxonomic relationships Example: Teacher provides a few words related to a theme, then asks students to generate other related words, categorize them, and explain their relationship to one another.

Sample of Hierarchical Array (Words in UPPER CASE were supplied by teacher.) : 30 Sample of Hierarchical Array (Words in UPPER CASE were supplied by teacher.)

Types of Integration: Linear Array (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) : 31 Types of Integration: Linear Array (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) Arranges words according to differences of degree Increases sensitivity to nuances of meaning Example: Teacher provides first two items and invites students to generate other words, then arrange them based on intensity, size, chronology, position, etc.

Samples of Linear Array : 32 Samples of Linear Array annoyed---angry---enraged---furious lukewarm---warm---hot---scalding neophyte---______---______---_______ ______---______---______---gargantuan

Types of Integration: Emphasis on Concepts (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) : 33 Types of Integration: Emphasis on Concepts (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) Goal of vocabulary instruction is to teach students new concepts, not to teach them new labels. Example: To start a literature unit, the teacher asks, “Have you ever had the feeling that something was going to go wrong or that something bad was going to happen, that is, without any real reason to expect this? Let’s hear from some of you.” After discussion: “Well, this sort of feeling is called a premonition .”

Types of Integration: Emphasis on Concepts (continued) : 34 Types of Integration: Emphasis on Concepts (continued) Example-Nonexample: To solidify a concept, teacher poses a situation and asks if it is an example or nonexample. Example: Teacher says: “A person wakes up and remembers the dental appointment scheduled that morning to get a tooth filled. Is this a premonition ? Why? Why not?”

Three Properties of Effective Vocabulary Instruction (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) : 35 Three Properties of Effective Vocabulary Instruction (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) 1. Integration (connecting new words with knowledge the student already has) 2. Repetition 3. Meaningful Use

Repetition (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) : 36 Repetition (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) Verbal efficiency hypothesis: A reader has only a limited processing capacity; if he/she decodes well and knows the words in the text, most of his/her attention can be given to comprehension. If a reader must struggle to decode a word or does not understand many of the decoded words, there will not be much capacity remaining to give to comprehension. Many encounters (repetition) with a new word are necessary if vocabulary instruction is to have a measurable effect on comprehension.

Three Properties of Effective Vocabulary Instruction (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) : 37 Three Properties of Effective Vocabulary Instruction (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) 1. Integration (connecting new words with knowledge the student already has) 2. Repetition 3. Meaningful Use

Meaningful Use (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) : 38 Meaningful Use (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) Givens: There is a huge difference between knowing the definition of a word and being able to use the word. The more deeply information is processed, the more likely it will be remembered. Deep processing requires the learner’s active involvement. Vocabulary learning tasks must in some way parallel normal speaking, reading, and writing. Think of what occurs in a foreign language class.

Meaningful Use (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) : 39 Meaningful Use (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) Examples Typical task : Identifying the meaning of a word: Gendarme means: bellboy policeman waiter letter carrier Better task : Using the meaning of a word: A gendarme is most likely to carry: A suitcase a gun a tray the mail

Meaningful Use (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) : 40 Meaningful Use (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) Examples Typical task : Given the sentence “When Father heard that Lisa had ripped up the letter from Steve, Father commended her for it.” What did Father say to Lisa? Better task : Given the sentence above, what do you think Father thought of Steve?

Meaningful Use (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) : 41 Meaningful Use (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) Examples Sentence completion or cloze procedure steers the student to really use the word and helps eliminate sentences like “I saw an accomplice yesterday.” Typical task : Write a sentence using the new vocabulary word accomplice . Better task : Complete the following sentence: The accomplice was worried because ____________.

Three Properties of Effective Vocabulary Instruction (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) : 42 Three Properties of Effective Vocabulary Instruction (William E. Nagy, NCTE/IRA, 1988) 1. Integration (connecting new words with knowledge the student already has) 2. Repetition 3. Meaningful Use

There isn’t enough time for this kind of vocabulary instruction! : 43 There isn’t enough time for this kind of vocabulary instruction! Thoroughness versus coverage Redundancy of text Incidental word learning

Building Academic Vocabulary Robert J. Marzano & Debra J. Pickering, ASCD 2005 : 44 Building Academic Vocabulary Robert J. Marzano & Debra J. Pickering, ASCD 2005 Percentile scores on a test measuring ability to comprehend the subject matter taught in school: No vocabulary instruction: 50% Direct vocabulary instruction: 83% “People’s knowledge of any topic is encapsulated in the terms they know that are relevant to the topic.” Building Academic Vocabulary , Marzano & Pickering, ASCD, 2005.

Laura Beth Hattersley
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