VOCABULARY

WHAT IS VOCABULARY?

Vocabulary refers to the words we must understand to communicate effectively. Educators often consider four types of vocabulary: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Listening vocabulary refers to the words we need to know to understand what we hear. Speaking vocabulary consists of the words we use when we speak. Reading vocabulary refers to the words we need to know to understand what we read. Writing vocabulary consists of the words we use in writing.

Vocabulary plays a fundamental role in the reading process, and contributes greatly to a reader’s comprehension. A reader cannot understand a text without knowing what most of the words mean. Students learn the meanings of most words indirectly, through everyday experiences with oral and written language. Other words are learned through carefully designed instruction.

WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO ME: A CHILD’S PERSPECTIVE

When a child has a difficulty or frustration, they are usually unable to express what is causing this feeling. Instead they may say, “I hate this!“, “It’s stupid!“, or they may avoid the task all together. Those few children who are able to express themselves often tell me:

 

WHAT I SEE AT HOME: A PARENT’S PERSPECTIVE

Here are some clues for parents that a child may be having reading difficulties as a result of his or her vocabulary:

 

WHAT I SEE IN THE CLASSROOM: A TEACHER’S PERSPECTIVE

Here are some clues for teachers that a student may have difficulties as a result of his or her vocabulary:

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