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We think with words, therefore to improve thinking, teach vocabulary

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1 We think with words, therefore to improve thinking, teach vocabulary
We think with words, therefore to improve thinking, teach vocabulary A. Draper and G. Moeller

2 Four Part Processing System
Context Processor Concept & Information; Sentence Context; Text Structure Fluency Meaning Processor Vocabulary Show participants how these processing modules, or systems that support reading, are modeled in this diagram, which was originally proposed by Seidenberg and McClellan (1989). This model is useful because it suggests (1) the various ways in which reading problems might develop, and (2) why reading instruction should target several kinds of skills. In a sense, teachers are educating all of the processing systems and enabling them to work together. Discuss with participants whether one processing system is more important than the others at any given stage of reading development. Orthographic Processor Phonological Processor speech sound system Phonics letter memory Phonemic Awareness speech output writing output reading input

3 Reading –Vocabulary Connection
Exposed to 1,800,000 words per year Exposed to 282,000 words per year Exposed to 8,000 words per year >1 minute 4.6 minutes 20 minutes Shaywitz, S. (2003). Overcoming Dyslexia.New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

4 The Matthew Effect -Stanovich 1986


6 How Does SES Relate To This?
Family Status Words heard per hour Words heard per week Words heard per year Words heard per 4 year period Low SES 616 62,000 3 million 12 million Working Class 1,251 125,000 6 million 26 million Professional 2,153 215,000 11 million 45 million Hart and Risley, 1997


8 Fact #1 High achieving high school seniors knew about 4 times as many words as their low achieving classmates. (Smith) A literate high school graduate has a reading and spoken vocabulary of approximately 60,000 words. His/her low achieving counterpart has an approximate vocabulary of 15,000 words. That’s 5,000 words less than an average 6th grade students. 7

9 Fact #2 Higher performing third graders had vocabularies about equal to the lowest performing twelfth graders. (Smith) The daily newspaper is written on a 5th – 6th grade level. Low performing 12th graders would have difficulty reading the daily news. 8

10 Fact #3 The vocabulary of upper SES first graders is about twice the size of their lower SES peers. (Graves & Slater) Recent research show that linguistically “poor” first graders knew 5,000 words; linguistically “rich” first graders knew 20,000 words. That translates into 4 times as many words (Moats, 2001.) Remember the Matthew Effect . . . 9

11 Why Oral Language Experience is Not Enough
Taking it back to text . . . Why Oral Language Experience is Not Enough Frequency of Word Use in Major Sources of Oral and Written Language (Hayes & Ahrens, 1988) Rare Words per 1,000 Printed texts II. Television texts Newspapers Adult shows 22.7 Popular magazines Children’s shows 20.2 Adult books Children’s books III. Adult speech Preschool books College graduates 17.3 talk with friends/ spouses

12 National Parks Vocabulary Gallery Walk
Write 5 words that you associate with National Parks. (one word per sticky note)

13 Key Perspectives Perspective #1:
The conventional wisdom is that most vocabulary is learned from context (Cunningham & Stanovich.) This is the reading done OUTSIDE of direct instruction. It is solely dependent that the student is an avid independent reader. BUT . . . Students with decoding deficits do little to no independent reading outside of school. Students with limited oral language have difficulty in comprehension-building during reading, and usually read lower-level texts that offer no venue for rich vocabulary.

14 Perspective #2: Students are successfully developing their vocabularies.
Growth in vocabulary knowledge is usually based on student performance on tests. Tests typically are in a MC or matching format. The results of tests such as these can lead to false conclusions. The scores imply vocabulary growth, but it is measuring short-term memorization. Most tests are given after a chapter and the words on the tests are never revisited again. 21 21 21 21 21

15 So, what’s the problem with that?
Perspective #3: Rigor in vocabulary development is confined to instructional practices of: synonyms, antonyms, definitions, and putting the word in a sentence. Look vocabulary words up in the dictionary/write the definitions Write the words three times each Write each word in a sentence. So, what’s the problem with that?

16 Let’s look at a simple word…

17 cin·na·mon /ˈsɪnəmən/ [sin-uh-muhn]
–noun 1. the aromatic inner bark of any of several East Indian trees belonging to the genus Cinnamonum,  of the laurel family, especially the bark of C. zeylanicum (Ceylon cinnamon), used as a spice, or that of C. loureirii (Saigon cinnamon), used in medicine as a cordial and carminative. 2. a tree yielding such bark. 3. any allied or similar tree. 4. cassia( def. 1 ) . 5. a yellowish or reddish brown. 6.–adjective . (of food) containing or flavored with cinnamon. 7. reddish-brown or yellowish-brown.

18 Formative Assessment Cinnamon is a ____________ that ____________ in order to________________.

19 What about graphic organizers?
Word Maps are a type of graphic organizer used routinely to provide a “visual” in vocabulary development. Let’s look at one.

20 WORD Typical Word Map List 2 synonyms List 2 antonyms Give an example
explanation List 2 synonyms WORD List 2 antonyms Write the dictionary definition/s

21 Nothing is wrong with a word map if:
appropriately formatted for effective vocabulary instruction. That is, the map does not constrain the students’ understanding of the word to a single context/meaning. used AFTER the students have had extensive instruction and interaction with the word. used as part of the instruction – the teacher is guiding,scaffolding, and developing a deep understanding. Caution: Remember to ask yourself the all important question, “Why am I having the students do this and what are they getting from it?”

22 But . . . Used as an independent student activity without a lot of preparation it is virtually useless. Superficial Limited contexts Limited exposure NOT the way the mind connects and/or visualizes things (Visualization and connections require discrimination activities that establish the subtle nuances of a word.) In other words, you will not visualize a word map in your mind’s eye.

So, what’s the solution? A FEW PRINCIPLES TO GUIDE US: Knowledge of a word is not an all or nothing proposition (Beck, 1985.) Knowledge of definitions and understanding word meanings are not the same thing (Stahl & Fairbanks, 1986.) 34

24 Rich Vocabulary Instruction
Rich vocabulary instruction requires the learner to process words, think about words, interact with words in some way and with others to promote comprehension facilitation.


26 Words are known on a continuum that ranges from:
Knowledge Not Readily Accessed Rich & Decontextualized Knowledge Narrow Context-Bound General Sense No Knowledge 36

27 General Principles for Instruction:
Select challenging words: teach “above” not below spoken language knowledge. Do not always select words contained within the text: select words that the text is about – “idea” words. Use multiple contexts and rich examples for the students before expecting them to use the words at all. 39

28 Impact of Direct Vocabulary Instruction
Stahl and Fairbanks, 1986

29 Selecting the Words Let’s divide the corpus of the language into three parts. Tier One: the most basic words Tier Two: high-frequency words for skilled language users. Tier Three: specific words with low frequency of general use.

30 Choosing words based on Tiers
Tier 3: Low-frequency words, usually specific to an academic domain & best learned in the related content area, such as isotope, photosynthesis & psychologist. Tier 2: High-frequency words that are important for capable language learners to have in their vocabulary, such as remorse, capricious, distinguished, & devious. Tier 1: Basic words that rarely need to be taught, such as hair, always, dress, & laugh. Beck, I., McKeown, M., & Kucan, L. (2002)

31 Your Turn: Prioritize Your Vocabulary 1
Your Turn: Prioritize Your Vocabulary 1.Look at your list of National Parks words. 2.Decide how you would classify each word (Tier 1, 2, or 3). 3.Share out by putting one post-it on each chart paper

32 Content Vocabulary Although the events of m____ usually proceed accurately, sometimes ___________ fail to separate correctly. The failure of __________ ___________ to separate properly during m______ is called non___________. Recall that during m________, one __________ from each __________ pair moves to each ____ of the cell. In non___________, both ___________ of a __________ pair move to the same ____ of the cell.

33 Content Vocabulary Although the events of meiosis usually proceed accurately, sometimes chromosomes fail to separate correctly. The failure of homologous chromosomes to separate properly during meiosis is called nondisjunction. Recall that during meiosis, one chromosome from each homologous pair moves to each pole of the cell. In nondisjunction, both chromosomes of a homologous pair move to the same pole of the cell.

34 How Much Vocabulary Do They Need to Know?
Independent Level: 95% of the text Instructional Level: 90-95% of the text Frustration Level: below 90% of the text Partnership for Learning, 2001

35 Opportunistic Classroom Vocabulary
yearning Instead of saying: “I know you really wanted to go outside for recess, but it is raining and we cannot. Try… “I know that all of you were yearning to go outside and play during recess today. However, the rain will prohibit us from doing that today.

36 Give Positive Examples:
Yearning can be a good thing too. Sometimes when we yearn for things it makes us work harder to get them. If you are yearning for a brand new bike, you might work on saving your allowance to get one. Someone might yearn to be a better football player. He might practice more often and work harder to reach the goal that he is yearning for.

37 Explain appropriateness of context:
Would someone who is yearning be likely to: Throw a temper tantrum when they do not get what they want? Wish on a star? Daydream about what they yearn for? Give up pursuing what they yearn for?

38 Using Student Friendly Definitions (Student Friendly or ESL Dictionary)
resent – to express anger or annoyance toward someone or something futile –to do something that will never give you the result that you want; useless pout – to show irritation using your expression insult – to offend someone; to treat rudely groan – to moan because you are angry or annoyed courteous – to have manners and be considerate intensity – to be strong or powerful expression –a look on someone’s face that shows feeling terrible – very bad; awful department – a section or part of something larger

39 Using imagery and a non-definitional approach . . .
resent – to express anger or annoyance toward someone or something when a sibling is more successful at something when someone else was picked for a team futile –to do something that will never give you the result that you want; useless Studying for a subject area which you find to be extremely difficult learning to play the violin

40 Relationships Among Words
Would you be courteous to someone who insulted you? Would you groan if something was futile? Would hiding your feelings be an example of pouting?

41 Using Word Associations
Which word goes with kindness? (courteous) Which word goes with pointless? (futile) Which words go with bully? (resent, pout, insult, groan)

42 Making Choices If your parents made you permanently give your bedroom to a relative would you . . . resent them? feel that the situation was futile? pout for a week? insult them behind their backs? groan noisily when they told you? act courteous and smile? say terrible things? show them an encouraging expression?

43 Cagey questions contain one or more vocabulary words.
Using Cagey Questions Cagey questions contain one or more vocabulary words. They facilitate thinking about meanings of words as well as meanings of sentences (build comprehension.) There are not right or wrong answers to cagey questions. However, they require the student to justify their position in response to the questions. They provide further experience dealing with the vocabulary in a wide variety of contexts.

44 Some examples . . . How might yearning for something cause someone to have hope? Which would be more likely to happen, flowers blossoming on land that is barren or grassy? What kind of protection might some shelters provide? How might a person with integrity be defiant? Which of these situations would be more likely to be considered ominous: a walk alone through a dark alley or a walk through the library during a quiet study hall? Which of these might an elderly woman be more likely to reminisce about: a recent visit to the doctor or memories of holidays from her childhood? Which person is more likely to feel remorse: a cunning boy who gets caught cheating on a math quiz or a boy whose mother finds him sneaking a brownie before dinner?

45 anticipate and ordinary
Let’s try a few . . . Write a cagey question using each of these word pairs or groups: serene and gaze anticipate and ordinary anxious, obsess, and sinister (try using two or all three!)

46 Some ideas . . . 1. Serene and Gaze 2. Anticipate and Ordinary
Which of these is more likely to be considered serene: spending a warm summer night gazing at the stars or running to the car through a heavy thunderstorm? 2. Anticipate and Ordinary What kinds of events might you anticipate to happen on an ordinary school day? 3. Anxious, Obsess, and Sinister How might an anxious person obsess over a sinister noise that she hears late at night?

47 Implications for Teachers Model the importance of vocabulary by allocating daily time for instruction. Teach vocabulary skills as well as vocabulary meanings. Consider contextual factors Subject specific vocabulary Multiple meaning words Opportunities to utilize vocabulary across multiple contexts

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