The shift from reading textbooks to informational text will present students with far more challenging vocabulary. For students to successfully navigate such reading materials, they will require strategies to arrive at definitions, more times than not, on their own. So teachers will need to build these strategies into every lesson and reinforce them throughout the class period through all 4 language skills-listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The more reinforcement, the more likely it is that students will retain the language and the skills which aided them in arriving at definitions.
Eye On Education has generated an excellent short tip list on both effective and ineffective ways to teach vocabulary in this infographic on effective vocabulary instruction. The suggestions here apply to all grade levels as well as all content areas. An adaptation I have used for #2 is the frayer model (though it is being used for a biology class, it can be used with ANY content area and at ANY grade level). Teachers can modify them in any way that works for their students. I had the WORD in the center, top right box had a picture, bottom right a sentence from the text/book with the word in it, top left had a definition in their own words, and bottom left had a synonym or antonym or non-example.
These ten tips are great reminders that teachers must create original ways to build and nurture the growth of academic vocabulary for their students....and it can be a fun process:)
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