What does vocabulary look like?

When teaching vocabulary to students you need to teach them to:

  • say key words accurately
  • read key words accurately
  • spell and write key words
  • understand the meanings of words
  • how to work out the meanings of new words
  • understand key words in particular contexts or in unfamiliar ways
  • link the words with related words in networks
  • see how new words ‘came from’ words they already know. (Munro, 2005)

Vocabulary development, includes encoding word meanings and networks of meanings as both influence reading ability. The size of a reader’s vocabulary influences the number of words that can be recognized.

In addition, a knowledge of vocabulary predicts comprehension ability (Dewitz & Dewitz, 2003).

Teaching Outlines

Explicitly teaching Prep students’ vocabulary building skills (synonyms) and sequencing through oral re-tell to improve listening comprehension.

Project 183 - Vocabulary Building Skills

Explicitly teaching vocabulary development when using “read-alouds” to Year 2 students to improve comprehension.

Project 195 - Vocabulary & "Read-Alouds"

Explicitly teaching vocabulary and sentence structure to Prep students to improve listening comprehension.

Project 143 - Sentence Structure & Vocabulary

Explicitly teaching Oral Language strategies to prep students to improve literacy outcomes.

Oral Language Program - Jack in the Beanstalk


The Early Language in Victoria Study (ELVS)

A study undertaken in Victoria, exploring early communicative development and implications for students in the early years of schooling.

Predicting vocabulary at age one and two years from gesture and object use.

Predicting vocabulary at age one and two years from gesture and object use.
What’s Meaning Got to Do With It: The Role of Vocabulary in Word Reading and Reading Comprehension

Author/Publisher: Gene P. Ouellette

This article distinguishes between vocabulary breadth and depth of vocabulary knowledge to better explain the role of oral vocabulary in various reading skills. Journal of Educational Psychology Vol. 98, No. 3, 554–566. Copyright 2006 by the American Psychological Association 2006.

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Vocabulary Acquisition

Author: Edited by Wagner, Muse and Tannenbaum (2007)

Publisher: Guilford Publications

Vocabulary and reading comprehension are among Reading First’s five key literacy topics; this book presents current research findings and considers their significance for instruction. Specific information is provided on challenges facing English language learners.

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Vocabulary acquisition from listening to stories and explanations of target words

Author/Publisher: ProQuest Education Journals

This paper examines the effect of 3 conditions on students’ vocabulary acquisition: listening to stories with and without an explanation of target words, and no exposure to stories or vocabulary (the control conditions). The Elementary School Journal; Mar 1996; 96, 4; ProQuest Education Journals pg.415. For the full article..

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Improving vocabulary

Adding ten minutes of reading time dramatically changes levels of print exposure

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Vocabulary Scrabble

To improve children’s vocabulary and spelling skills. Scrabble is a fun way to improve your student’s English, vocabulary, reading, and overall grammar skills.

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Teaching vocabulary

Consider some excellent lesson models for teaching vocabulary, explaining idioms, fostering word consciousness, instruction for English Language Learners, and mnemonic strategies.

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Word Wizzer

The Word Whizzer – vocabulary development relating to language and literacy skills (and the introduction of a therapy resource)

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Carl's Corner - Developing meaning vocabulary

This section of the websiite looks at vocabulary development. Two powerpoints on vocabulary development are provided for teachers.

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