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IRA, 2008 Rev Up Vocabulary in the Middle Grades.

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Presentation on theme: "IRA, 2008 Rev Up Vocabulary in the Middle Grades."— Presentation transcript:

1 IRA, 2008 Rev Up Vocabulary in the Middle Grades

2 IRA, 2008 Vocabulary Is Hot Why?

3 IRA, 2008 What weve known for a long time Vocabulary knowledge is a powerful predictor of reading comprehension. By 4th grade, many children experience a slump in reading comprehension caused by below- grade vocabulary.

4 IRA, 2008 And more recently... Evidence of how strongly early vocabulary relates to later literacy Growing awareness of individual differences--and how they stick around

5 IRA, 2008 Specifically -- Studies have shown Vocabulary size in kindergarten predicts reading comprehension in the middle elementary years. Orally-tested vocabulary at the end of 1st grade predicts reading comprehension 10 years later.

6 IRA, 2008 However...

7 IRA, 2008 Teachers spend little time discussing the meanings of words (Scott, Jamieson-Noel and Asselin (2003, p. 282). Words introduced with a reading selection rarely followed up (Walsh, 2003). What is vocabulary in the middle grades? mentioning assigning a word or synonym words to be looked up in dictionary

8 IRA, 2008 Instruction wont work... If its not consistent with what we know about how vocabulary is acquired.

9 IRA, 2008 Principles of vocabulary acquisition 1.Vocabulary knowledge is a network of connected concepts 2.Vocabulary is learned from contextBUT... 3.Learning is incremental

10 IRA, Vocabulary knowledge is a network of connected concepts What is the significance of that? You dont have a dictionaryhead dictionary in your head.

11 IRA, Vocabulary is learned from contextBUT... The richest context for learning new words is immediate oral language and…

12 IRA, 2008 SourceHard words per 1,000 Pre-school books16.3 Adult conversation17.3 Prime-time television shows22.3 Childrens books30.9 Adult books52.7 Newspapers68.3 …as children enter school fewer and fewer unfamiliar words are found in speech from Hayes & Ahrens, 1987

13 IRA, 2008 Cautions on Learning from Context oral vs. written wide reading individual differences not all contexts are created equal

14 IRA, 2008 Use of Context High ability readers are better able to use context clues to gain meaning: 54% vs. 40% Even high ability readers in a situation with strong context support dont always get the meaning: 82% vs. 69%

15 IRA, 2008 Contexts are not Created Equal Ella watched as Nora got smaller and smaller and finally ________. This town will be the death of us, Brian said ________. Freddie looked at his team members and thought that each looked more _______ than the next. It had been a long hike, with very steep cliffs on the way up. It was Johns first experience mountain climbing, and he felt __________.

16 IRA, Learning is incremental A word is not learned the first time it is encountered. A learner needs: various facets of information about a word practice in use of a word to integrate a word into existing knowledge

17 IRA, 2008 Ella watched as Nora got smaller and smaller and finally ________. vanished more like disappear or go away? is it complete (might she be microscopic?) always gradual? unexpected? deliberate? restricted to people? What do you know? Is vanished:

18 IRA, 2008 What is the result of "mentioning" and "assigning" instruction? Students may learn words as measured by multiple choice tests. No effect on comprehension (Bauman, Kameenui & Ash, 2003; Stahl & Fairbanks, 1986).

19 IRA, 2008 Why Lack of Effect? Comprehension requires rapid and rich access to word meanings. Instruction needs to go beyond associating words with definitions.

20 IRA, 2008 Instruction, Yes, But Which Words? Surprisingly little attention Selection in most studies: words judged unfamiliar. Careful selection is important because we cant teach all words. Word Tiers

21 IRA, 2008 Choosing Words to Teach: Three Tiers Starting point: words in the language have different levels of utility. Tier One: the most basic words clock, baby, happy rarely require instruction in school

22 IRA, 2008 Choosing Words to Teach: Three Tiers cont… Tier Three: words whose frequency of use is quite low, often limited to specific domains isotope, lathe, peninsula probably best learned when needed in a content area

23 IRA, 2008 Choosing Words to Teach: Three Tiers cont… Tier Two: high-utility words for mature language users crucial, dynamic, momentum instruction in these words can add productively to an individuals language ability

24 IRA, 2008 Word Tier-anny: Where do these fall? coincidence forlorn floor triumphant happy piano oboe hostile corner colonial break pinnacle

25 IRA, 2008 Tier 2 words are – of general utility, found across domains conceptually familiar to children more characteristic of written language not the content words of science and social studies, but they support the content

26 IRA, 2008 Why Teach Tier 2 Words? Consider the gulf between: Everyday language highly frequent corpus Redundancy with context and Language for literacy rarer vocabulary building ideas from words alone Lexical bar: Students must cross it for academic success (Corson)

27 IRA, 2008 Crossing the Lexical Bar Students need to master the kinds of words that provide entrée into the world of texts. These are the words literate language users need for comprehending texts that express new ideas: Tier 2 words

28 IRA, 2008 The inhabitants of Framboisy are worried. The bridge across the River Clarinette is near collapse, and without it they will lose touch with the rest of France. The innkeeper, grocer, and teacher gather as the mayor approaches to report that there are no funds to rebuild the bridge. The Bridge on the River Clarinette by Pierre Gamarra Were ruined. No one dares to venture across our dilapidated old bridge. A stranger appears, coming across the bridge. What an odd person... Look at his uncanny smile, and the glint in his eyes, the teacher says.

29 IRA, 2008 To the astonishment of his audience, the stranger explained, Give me your words, and I will build you a magnificent bridge in five seconds. I will leave you a few words for your daily needsdrink, eat, sleep, bread, butter, coffee… So youre a magician? asked the innkeeper. I have a very advanced technique at my disposal, the stranger replied modestly. We could at least give it a try, said the grocer. You agree? said the stranger with a malicious swiftness.

30 IRA, 2008 Agreed, said the mayor, the innkeeper, and the grocer. I object! cried the teacher. We should never give up our words. And its crazy. Who could build a bridge in five seconds? The stranger pointed -- and there arose a beautiful three-arched bridge. The mayor nudged the innkeeper, Bread, butter, eat, drink. The innkeeper replied, Drink, sleep, house, chair.

31 IRA, 2008 Some Good Choices inhabitants dilapidated uncanny malicious

32 IRA, 2008 Other Possibilities magnificent astonished ruined glint ventured

33 IRA, 2008 Also consider... skeptical susceptible How do they fit here?

34 IRA, 2008 Rationale for the words selected Inhabitants defines the characters of the story, and the word has a rich morphological familyhabitat, habit, inhabit. Dilapidated is the state of the bridge that provides the central problem of the storyand it is a great word to say, and makes for good images.

35 IRA, 2008 Rationale for the words selected, cont. Malicious is key to the motives of the stranger, and is a delicious word. Uncanny is the essence of the character of the stranger, and it has a strong, unique meaning.

36 IRA, 2008 When to introduce words When is the best time to introduce words needed for comprehension? When is the best time to do elaborated vocabulary work? Do words ever need to be introduced before reading?

37 IRA, 2008 Traditional Start: Dictionary Definitions 63 % of the students sentences were judged odd (Miller & Gildea, 1985) The train was transitory. 60 % of students responses unacceptable (McKeown, 1991; 1993) He was devious on his bike. students frequently interpreted one or two words as the entire meaning (Scott & Nagy, 1989) The colonists were exotic in America.

38 IRA, 2008 Howd that happen? deviousstraying from the right course; not straightforward transitorypassing soon or quickly; lasting only a short time exoticforeign; strange; not native

39 IRA, 2008 Dictionaries: Some Better Choices Learners dictionaries COBUILD: The dictionary is designed to be read like ordinary English. COBUILD New Students Dictionary (2002). Harper/Collins Publishers. Longman: The definitions are written using only the 2000 most common English.

40 IRA, 2008 Refreshing Word Meanings WordCOBUILDLongman devioussomeone who is devious is dishonest and secretive, often in a complicated way using tricks or lies to get what you want exoticsomething that is exotic is strange, unusual, and interesting because it comes from a distant country unusual and exciting because of a connection with a foreign country

41 IRA, 2008 Student-friendly Explanations Explanations in everyday connected language, rather than dictionary definitions.

42 IRA, 2008 One that inhabits a place, especially as a permanent resident. DictionaryFriendly dilapidated inhabitants The inhabitants of a place are the people or animals that live there. Having fallen into a state of disrepair or deterioration, as through neglect. A building that is dilapidated is old and in a generally bad condition.

43 IRA, 2008 Peculiarly unsettling as if of supernatural origin or nature. DictionaryFriendly malicious uncanny You describe something as uncanny when it is strange and hard to explain. Having the nature of or resulting from malice. If someone does something malicious, they act deliberately mean or evil.

44 IRA, 2008 So, after reading... introduce each word Contextualize the word: The story is about the inhabitants of a little town. Explain the meaning (friendly!): The inhabitants of a place are all the people who live there. New example: We are all inhabitants of some town or city.

45 IRA, 2008 What Kind of Instruction? Considering the goal is to affect students ability to comprehend text Both definitional and contextual information Multiple exposures in different contexts Depth of processing Frequent encounters (Stahl & Fairbanks, 1986)

46 IRA, 2008 Say inhabitant if I describe a place that you would want to inhabit--if you would want to live there. Why? The North Pole A tropical island A city where all the food is free The worlds most crowded city A town where everyone is talking all the time

47 IRA, 2008 Sentence stems: The steps to the building were dilapidated so.... My little brother has an uncanny way of....

48 IRA, 2008 Building connections Describe the most malicious character youve ever read about or seen. Use astonished and uncanny in the description. On its last legs = dilapidated How else can we say that? Think of 3 things you could describe that way.

49 IRA, 2008 Keeping Words Around Classroom and individual records Invest in a word bank

50 IRA, 2008 Extending Word Use Points for seeing, hearing, using words outside of school Points tallied on chart in classroom Word Wizard

51 IRA, 2008 Vocabulary Homework Find a character on TV who could be described as malicious. Find something in the newspaper or TV news that makes you skeptical. Find an ad in a magazine that you might be susceptible to.

52 IRA, 2008

53 Keeping it Going Visible Vocabulary Bulletin boards: word from each class and student work to exemplify picture to label with a vocabulary word --maybe even vote on sentence of the week Post words being learned on classroom doors Visitors can join the fun!

54 IRA, 2008

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