Problem of Practice

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In an effort to create a context for learning, one needs to define the language that will be used to teach a subject. So often in schools, from first grade through graduate studies, when teaching a new subject matter or concepts it is necessary to teach the vocabulary that will accompany that subject. However, we often spend little time making sure that vocabulary is learned and consequently without the prerequisite knowledge of vocabulary of learning the learning of information related to it is difficult. This need for definition of relevant language is seen in multiple sources with textbooks being on of the greatest sources of it. The books highlight, bold, or italicize critical words and provide definitions of the word or within the text or margins. This definition of terms gives the reader the knowledge basis to understand the content of what they are reading. If the books authors did not define these terms, then understanding the information they are trying to convey would be difficult.

As I have worked with students and observed lessons being taught I find some of the students struggling with in understanding the language of learning because they do not understand the vocabulary being used. They are struggle with learning the information because they are trying to understand the unfamiliar terms used in the text. This therefore creates my problem of practice. Students have the ability to read grade level text but continue to demonstrate difficulty with comprehension of information because they are unfamiliar with the vocabulary of learning. This problem appears to occur more frequently in English learners (EL) and Students with Disabilities (SWDs).

Students benefit from specific and explicit vocabulary instr...

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...lary and allows them to understand and gain knowledge from the classroom within which that vocabulary is being used. Consequently, learning vocabulary skills addresses the problem of students being able to read but not having sufficient vocabulary skills to understand what they are reading within and outside the classroom environment.

Works Cited

Gibbons, P. (2000). English learners academic literacy and thinking. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann

Hattie, J. (2009) Visable learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. New York: Routledge

Marzano, R., Gaddy, B., Dean, C., (2000). What works in classroom instruction. Aurora, CO Mid-Continent Research for Education and learning (McREL)

Stahl, S.A., & Fairbanks, M. M. (1986). The effect of vocabulary instruction: A model-based meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 56(1) 72-110