Knowing the vocabulary in a text is vital for students to be able to comprehend. I have included some interesting facts regarding vocabulary:
-According to the National Reading Panel (2001), which reviewed research about vocabulary development, both vocabulary instruction and assessment are crucial to students' literacy success.
-A lack of vocabulary is a key component underlying failure for many students, especially for those who are economically disadvantaged (Biemiller, 2001; Biemiller & Slonium, 2001; Hart & Risley, 1995; Hirsch, 2001).
-Both wide reading and explicit instruction help to build new vocabulary. To be most effective, teachers should teach the most useful words, and students should have the opportunity to apply their knowledge of these words in multiple subject areas and fictional texts (Beck, Perfetti, & McKeown, 1982; Beck, McKeown, & Kucan, 2002).
-Consistent and daily attention to words builds students' literacy growth (Brabham & Lynch-Brown, 2002; Dickinson & Tabors, 2001). The repeated teaching of high-utility words and the application of these words in multiple contexts significantly increase students' comprehension on standardized literacy tests (Block & Mangieri, 2005b; Gough, ALford, & Holly-Wilco, 1981; Fry, 2004). (Block, 2006).
These facts really bring to light that learning the meaning of words takes place daily and anywhere-not just while we are reading a book. Learning the meaning of words starts when we are all very young. Children need to be talked to and they need to be listened to. Multiple meaning words need to be exposed and discussed in a variety of situations. By doing this the child is learning words correctly in different contexts. The power of words is amazing! Have you learned a new word lately?
Resource: Block, Cathy Collins & Mangieri, John N. The Vocabulary-Enriched Classroom. New York: Scholastic, 2006.