Vocabulary More Than A Dictionary Definition
hippophagy • What is the meaning of this word
Words! Words! Words! • There are approximately 600,000 words in the English language. This number grows every day. • Our personal vocabularies grow constantly because we either need new words or find interesting words in our daily conversations and readings.
Four Vocabularies* Receptive Vocabularies Listening Reading Associate a meaning with a given label when when we hear a term in conversation Associate a meaning with a given label when we read text Speaking Writing Expressive Vocabularies Word must be adequately learned so that it is retained in memory and easily retrieved when speaking Word must be adequately learned so that it is retained in memory and easily retrieved when writing *Lenski, Wham, & Johns, 1999
Developing Vocabulary • Children expand their vocabulary at the rate of 2700-3000 words a year. • Children vary greatly in the rate of their vocabulary acquisition • Children learn many words through exposure – to oral and written language • Reading itself improves vocabulary • Some vocabulary needs to be taught directly through explicit instruction
The Impact of Differences in Opportunity & Experience • “By age three, children from privileged families have heard 30 million more words than children from poor families. By Kindergarten the gap is even greater. The consequences are catastrophic.” • Hart & Risley, 2003
Where have your students acquired their vocabulary? • Children’s books have more varying and unusual words than prime time TV or children’s TV • Rarity and variety of words in children’s books is greater than that in adult conversation • A single predictor of success in reading is “Has the child been read to?”
An Example of Book Talk My grandfather’s barn is sweet-smelling and dark and cool; leather harnesses hang like painting against old wood; and hay dust floats like cold in the air. Grandfather once lived in the city; and once he lived by the sea; but the barn is the place he loves most. Where else, he says, can the soft sound of cows chewing make all the difference in the world? -from All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachlan
Shades of Knowing a Word • Does not know the word and has not heard it • Remembers hearing the word before. • Has a hypothesis as to the meaning of the word based on the context. • Has some familiarity, like knowing whether it has positive or negative connotations
Shades Cont’d • Knows the word in one context only and is unable to use it flexibly • Knows one definition of the word and can use it in some contexts, but has difficulty applying it with precision and accuracy • Understands and can use the word in some contexts and knows one or two definitions of it.
Word is Acquired when… • We understand and can use the word in context or in isolation; know multiple meanings, connotations, and figurative uses when appropriate • Fountas & Pinnell, 2006
Vocabulary The Voluntary State Curriculum
The VSC • Standard 1.0 – General Reading Processes • Topic D - Vocabulary: Students will use a variety of strategies and opportunities to understand word meaning and to increase vocabulary
1.0 - Topic D – Vocabulary • Indicator 1 – Develop and apply vocabulary through exposure to a variety of texts a. Acquire new vocabulary through listening to, independently reading, and discussing a variety of literary and informational texts b. Discuss words and word meanings daily as they are encountered in texts, instruction, and conversation
Expose children to intriguing words everyday • Teacher talk: • Close the door because it is ajar • We need to water the dehydrated plant • Ask children to stop dawdling during line up • This work is exquisite • This surface feels coarse • There’s an assortment of items on the table
Printed language • Children’s books contain almost twice as many infrequently used or rare words than even adult conversation among college students • Hayes & Aherns, 1988
Read Aloud • Book language • Rich • Descriptive • Teacher-student talk about the text • crucial because children must relate their existing knowledge to the words and ideas in the story • Beck’s work - BWL
If a Grade 5 student reads: 1 hour each day 5 days a week (both in & out of school) 150 words per minute =2,250,000 words read during the school year If 2-5% are unknown, he will encounter from 45,000 to 112,500 unknown words Research shows that students can learn between 5 and 10 percent of previously unknown words from a single reading Then this student will learn, at a minimum, 2,250 new words that year from his reading Stahl, 1999 Independent Reading
Be a Word Collector • Talk about words of interest • Reward student use of interesting words in speaking and writing • Use collection organizers & hot spots to harvest words
6th Grade LA Text • “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum “Recently I set out to get the statement of personal belief down to one page in simple terms, fully understanding the naïveidealism that implied.”
Words to Know • naive – adj. as simple and believing as a young child • idealism – n. the practice of imagining that things could be absolutely perfect. • Do 6th graders have the experiences to make meaning of this text given the supports provided (glossary meaning and context)?
1.0 - Topic D – Vocabulary • Indicator 1 – Develop and apply vocabulary through exposure to a variety of texts a. Acquire new vocabulary through listening to, independently reading, and discussing a variety of literary and informational texts b. Discuss words and word meanings daily as they are encountered in texts, instruction, and conversation No assessment limits however, crucial to comprehension
1.0 - Topic D – Vocabulary • Indicator 2 - Develop a conceptual understanding of new words a. Classify and categorize increasingly complex words b. Explain relationships between and among words
Concepts/Words • Word Maps • Word Sorts • Semantic Gradients • Partner activity • Arrange words from the least to the most
Semantic Gradient • like adore fancy treasure • prize cherish love admire • prefer savor exalt adulate Least Most
1.0 - Topic D – Vocabulary Indicator 2 - Develop a conceptual understanding of new words a. Classify and categorize increasingly complex words b. Explain relationships between and among words - Assessment limits have been deleted (synonym, antonym, etc.)
1.0 - Topic D – Vocabulary • Indicator 3 - Understand, acquire, and use new vocabulary • Use context to determine the meanings of words • Use word structure to determine the meanings of words • Use resources to confirm definitions and gather further information about words • Use new vocabulary in speaking and writing to gain and extend content knowledge and clarify expression
1.D.3.a: Vocabulary: Grades 3 through 8 Above-grade-level words used in context Words with multiple meanings 1.D.3.b: Vocabulary: Grade 3 Grade-appropriate prefixes and suffixes 1.D.3.b: Vocabulary: Grade 4 Grade-appropriate prefixes and suffixes Grade-appropriate root words Grade-appropriate inflectional endings 1.D.3.b: Vocabulary: Grades 5 through 8 Assessment limits deleted Changes to Assessment Limits – Ind. 3
Context clues • Text • Definitions • Examples • Restatements • Story schema • Non-text • Charts • Illustrations • Type features
Using Context Clues Read the sentences and define the bolded word based on the context clue. Then identify which type of context clue was used. • He was so parsimonious that he refused to give his own sons the few pennies they needed to but pencils for school. It truly hurt him to part with his money. • The girl was churlish – rude, sullen and absolutely ill-mannered. • The young man who used to be very vociferous doesn’t talk much anymore.
Generative Word Knowledge • Learning about words, not simply acquiring new words • 60% of the new words readers encounter have easily identifiable morphological structure • Nagy, et.al, 1989
Morphology • Prefixes – nine prefixes account for 75% of words with prefixes un-, re-, in-(im-,il-,ir-), dis-, en- & em-, non-, in- & im-, over-, mis- • Suffixes – value of teaching suffixes directly is often disputed – most common include: -s & -es, -ed, -ing, -ly, -er & -or
Root Words • Large number of the words that students encounter are derivatives or inflections of familiar root words. • Research shows students acquire approx. 1200 root word meanings a year during the elementary years • Anglin, 1993
Cognates • Research is in its infancy • Spanish is closely tied to Latin • Approx. 10,000-15,000 Spanish-English cognates • Nash, 1997
Classroom Implications • Teach the students the skills • Context clues • Morphology • Dictionary, thesaurus, glossary • Teach the students word strategies to lead to independence
On-line Resources • www.Dictionary.com • www.wordcentral.com (M.W. kid’s) • www.m-w.com • www.thefreedictionary.com • www.visualthesaurus.com • www.yourdictionary.com
DISSECT Strategy • Discover the word’s context • Isolate the prefix • Separate the suffix • Say the stem or root word • Examine the stem or root word • Check with someone • Try the dictionary
An Example “The recurrent economic crises of past times were totally unnecessary and are not now permitted to happen, but other and equally large dislocations can and do happen without having political results, because there is no way in which discontent can become articulate.” • From George Orwell’s 1984
recurrent • Discover the context - the context indicates that recurrent describes economic crises or disasters and the context suggests that they were not good • Isolate the prefix - “re-” means again or back • Separate the suffix - no suffix • Say the stem or root - “current” • Examine the stem or root - happening now or flowing • Check with someone - you and your study partner decide that word is not related to flowing, like a river, but it may mean happening again and again • Try the dictionary - the word means occurring repeatedly or returning regularly
The VSC • Standard 2.0 Comprehension of Informational Text: Students will read, comprehend, interpret, analyze, and evaluate informational text. Objectives that show how the author uses words in the organization of text; choices the author makes in using words to make major points and set the tone; and words that appeal to the emotions of the reader.
President Ronald Reagan • Excerpt from speech following the loss of Challenger: “For the families of the seven, we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of this tragedy. But we feel the loss, and we’re thinking about you so very much. Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had a special grace, that special spirit that says, “Give me a challenge and I’ll meet it with joy.” They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths. They wished to serve, and they did. They served all of us.” Peggy Noonan, speech writer
The VSC • Standard3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text: Students will read, comprehend, interpret, analyze, and evaluate literary text. Objectives that show how the author uses words in the organization of text; choices the author makes in using words to make major points and set the tone; and the role of words in poetry.
Student Writing • Examine student writing for evidence of vocabulary acquisition • Content responses • Free writing