Monday, April 14, 2014

What is effective vocabulary instruction?

There are so many different vocabulary instruction strategies out there, it’s hard to find the perfect one for your students. This article from Joan Sedita discusses the research as to what methods are the most effective.

“In its analysis of the research on vocabulary instruction, the National Reading Panel (2000) found that there is no one best method for vocabulary instruction, and that vocabulary should be taught both directly and indirectly. Direct instruction means teaching specific words… It is estimated that students can be taught explicitly some 400 words per year in school (Beck, McKeown, and Kucan, 202) Another example of direct instruction involves the analysis of word roots and affixes (suffixes and prefixes)….

‘The studies reviewed suggest that vocabulary instruction does lead to gains in comprehension, but that the methods must be appropriate to the age of the reader…’

Root-based vocabulary instruction has been the domain of middle and high schools for a long time, but it’s been hard to find appropriate instruction for grades 4-6. Growing Your Vocabulary: Learning from Latin and Greek Roots makes it not only possible, but fun. Find out more at

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