Vocabulary

  • Vocabulary is a huge piece of education. Vocabulary instruction is used throughout every subject and class a child participates in throughout their day. More and more studies are being done on vocabulary instruction and the lasting impact it has on a child's life. 

     
    "The number of words that students need to learn is exceedingly large; on average students should add 2,000 to 3,000 new words a year to their reading vocabularies" (Beck, McKeown & Kucan, 2002).
     
    "Studies have solidly established the correlation between vocabulary and real-world ability." 
     
    "So there’s a positive correlation between a student’s vocabulary size in grade 12, the likelihood that she will graduate from college, and her future level of income. The reason is clear: vocabulary size is a convenient proxy for a whole range of educational attainments and abilities—not just skill in reading, writing, listening, and speaking but also general knowledge of science, history, and the arts." 
     
    http://www.city-journal.org/2013/23_1_vocabulary.html  Article in City Journal by E.D. Hirsch Jr. 
     
    Don't be surprised if your child is practicing "kid friendly" definitions. Simply writing and memorizing a dictionary definition is not enough to help the word meaning move to long term memory.
     
    "Definitions alone, however, are not enough. If the purpose of vocabulary instruction is to improve long-term comprehension, the most effective method is to provide students with multiple exposures to words in meaningful contexts" (Beck, Perfetti, & McKeown, 1982).
     
     
    A good online tool is the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (www.ldoceonline.com), which presents clear definitions using only the 2,000 most common words in English.
     
     
    What can you do at home?
     
    *READ!!!!
     
    The amount of time spent reading and the amount read are important. For example, a student who reads 21 minutes per day outside of school reads almost 2 million words per year. A student who reads less than a minute per day outside of school reads only 8,000 to 21,000 words per year (Texas Reading Initiative, 2002).
     
    *Challenge your student by both using new words when you talk to them, and having them practice using new words as they talk to you and tell you stories about their day.
     
    The growth of word knowledge is slow and incremental, requiring multiple exposures to words (Hirsch,2003; Stahl, 2004). This does not mean simply repeating the word and a definition or synonym, but seeing the word in different contexts (Joan Sedita, 2005).