Vocabulary Instruction

Explicit vocabulary instruction has a positive impact on immediate word learning and longer term reading comprehension. (Beck, Mckeown & Kucan, 2002; Biemiller, 2004; Marzano, 2004; Baker, Kame'enui & Simmons, 1998; Paribakht & Wesche, 1997)

  • Children who enter school with limited vocabulary knowledge grew  more discrepant over time from their peers who have rich vocabulary knowledge.  (Baker, Simmons & Kame'enui, 1997)
  • Students independtly learn new word meanings when taught to use context, analyze parts of words (prefixes),and use reference materials. (Graves; 2004, Edwards, Font, Baumann, & Boland, 2004)
  • For second-language learners, vocabulary knowledge is the single best predictor of their academic achievement across subjects (Saville-Troike, 1984) and major factor causing poor comprehension (Garcia, 1991).
  • There is a strong relationship between vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension.  (Stahl & Fairbanks, 1987)
  • There are a number of instructional components required for students to really learn words.  It's not simply a matter of assigning words, having students define those words, and then testing them on the words.  Rather, the evidence suggests that students need explicit instruction in word meanings, repeated exposure to words, opportunities for wide reading and experiences using the words in the presence of their peers (e.g., fisher, Blanchowicz, & Watts-Taffe; Graves, 2006).