Thursday, April 2, 2020

A Word About Vocabulary 

  1. What is Vocabulary?  The dictionary says, vocabulary is: 

  2. The body of words used in a particular language. 

    For example: 

    -Words used on a particular occasion or in a particular sphere:  "the vocabulary of law"

    -The body of words known to an individual person."he had a wide vocabulary"

    -A list of difficult or unfamiliar words with an explanation of their meanings, accompanying a piece of specialist or foreign-language text.

    1. How is vocabulary taught?  Vocabulary is learned in many different ways.  There is direct and indirect. 

    2. -Direct means the vocabulary is intentionally taught.  Given a list of words, one deliberately learns the meaning of the words. 

    3. -Indirect means you pick up words in every day life.  You figure out the meanings through the context of the spoken or written language.  

  3. Vocabulary is a complex subject.  It is super important in learning because,not only do we need to understand when we are speaking and listening to each other, but we also need to understand when we are reading text.  Why do we read?  We read to learn.  We read for understanding.  We need to understand the meaning of words so we can learn from them.  

In the learning center, before we read a book, we look at a list of words we might see in the story.  We may already know the meaning of some of the words, although for the most part, the words are new to us.  We watch for the words when reading the text.  We try to figure out what the word means in context.  We can also look in the glossary to get the meaning of the word.  This is a fun way to learn new vocabulary and new things.  

When learning a new language, vocabulary is a huge hurdle.  When I first started teaching in the district, we had this awesome person who ran the English Language Learning Department. He and his team would put out a booklet each year of "Threshold Vocabulary".  This booklet was designed to help English Language Learners acquire the English Language.  I find it is a good tool for all of us, even if we already speak English.  Attached is a copy of the description of Threshold Vocabulary and some activities you can do to acquire up to 3000 vocabulary words.  These are good activities if you want to increase and improve your vocabulary.  

Threshold Vocabulary 


We are fortunate at our school to have a program available to us called i-Ready.  This program is another way to learn.  Vocabulary is embedded in the i-Ready program.  It is another tool students can use to improve many areas of their reading including vocabulary.  

Students should have access to this program through Clever on the School Website. If they are having difficulty accessing this, have them contact their classroom teacher.  

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