Academic Vocabulary

Most teachers would agree that vocabulary instruction is a critical part of instruction. It's fair to ask ourselves what passes for good vocabulary instruction? Is it copying words and their corresponding definitions from the board or overhead? Is it looking up definitions in a dictionary? Crossword puzzles? What about work searches? The fact of the matter is, that much of what passes for vocabulary instruction are actually lessons in handwriting, eye hand coordination, and copying words.

Vocabulary instruction is really concept development. Students need to interact with words. It's rich and meaningful activities like word sorts, student-friendly descriptions, non-linguistic representations, and multiple opportunities to interact with the word through vocabulary games. These are meaningful routines that help make words stick. image

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