Vitality Of Vocabulary Instruction

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An article titled, “The Shakespeare in All of Us: A Monumental, Multitudinous, Premeditated Approach to Vocabulary Instruction” written by Jennifer Savino states, “Words embody power, words embrace action, and words enable us to speak, read, and write with clarity, confidence, and charm” (p. 445). I believe that this quote very accurately describes the vitality of vocabulary. Vocabulary is a skill without which communication would not exist. In order for our students to be fully functioning members of society one day, they must have a wonderful vocabulary and know how to utilize it. This, however, will not happen by accident. While children may be able to learn a plethora of words simply through exposure such as hearing and reading, it is still…show more content…
Research that I conducted in preparation for the in-class discussion says that “children learned 8-12 new root words per week” (Graves et. al, 2013, p. 337). This means that we are stuffing our students full of words that they do not have a deep understanding of and in turn, do not remember for an extended amount of time. Instead of this, we should carefully select the words we teach. Basic research on designing effective vocabulary instruction tells us that when selecting words, we should keep three things in mind: quality over quantity, high utility, and balanced strategies. The first meaning that instead of teaching our students a plethora of words, we should teach a few words and be sure that the quality of which they know them is high. Second, we should be sure to choose words that have high utility so that our students are able to use them often in their daily encounters. Finally, we must plan a variety of types of strategies, rather than simply dictionaries and tests (Kelley et. al, 2012, p. 6). There are many ways to do this, including the genre approach, the tier approach, and the SWIT approach. While all are effective methods, I personally believe that the best approach is the SWIT approach. This approach involves four different types of words: essential words, valuable words, accessible words, and imported words. Using these four types of words, it begins to become more clear exactly which words our students will benefit from. The question then becomes, what exactly are those four types of words? Essential words are the words that are completely necessary in order to understand the text. Without knowledge of these words, the text will be meaningless. Valuable words are the words that are very broad with a high utility. Especially for young children, valuable words are those that appear often throughout the text. Accessible words are those words with high frequency that

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