Research on Vocabulary Learning
In reviewing recent research on vocabulary learning and its role in reading, one conclusion becomes crystal clear: reading and writing activities, obviously, are dependent on words. Indeed, all good readers have a large store of high-frequency words they can read and spell instantly and automatically (Allington & Cunningham, 1996). So what do we know about vocabulary learning? To partially answer this question, we discuss in the following section key findings supported by recent research (Adams, 1990; Allington & Cunningham, 1996; Burns, Griffin, & Snow, 1999; Guthrie, 1982; Johnson, 2001; Krashen, 1993; Beck & McKeown, 1985; Nagy et al., 1985; National Reading Panel, 2000; National Research Council, 1998; Partnership for Reading, 2001; Stahl & Fairbanks, 1986; Stahl, Hare, Sinatra, & Gregory, 1991; Stahl & Jacobson, 1986; Templeton, 1995).
Vocabulary Is Built Through Language Interactions
Children who are exposed to advanced vocabulary through conversations learn words needed later on to help recognize and comprehend while reading. Burns et al. (1999) explain it this way:
Vocalization in the crib gives way to play with rhyming language and nonsense words. Toddlers find that the words they use in conversation and the objects they represent are depicted in books—that the picture is a symbol for the real object and that the writing represents spoken language. In addition to listening to stories, children label the objects in books, comment on the characters, and request that an adult read to them. In their third and fourth years, children use new vocabulary and grammatical constructions in their own speech. Talking to adults is children’s best source to exposure to new vocabulary and ideas.
Reading and being read to also increase vocabulary learning. Books give us challenging ideas, colorful descriptive words and concepts, and new knowledge and information about the world in which we live. Conversely, children who come to school with limited vocabularies, because of either second-language learning or the effects of poverty (Cooter, 2003), struggle to take even their first steps in reading and understanding texts. Burns et al. (1999) ask, “How can they understand a science book about volcanoes, silkworms, or Inuits?” What if they know nothing of mountains, caterpillars, or snow and cold climates?”. As teachers, we must make sure that no child is left behind because of weak vocabulary development.
© ______ 2005, Allyn & Bacon, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
Add your own comment
Today on Education.com
WORKBOOKSMay Workbooks are Here!
WE'VE GOT A GREAT ROUND-UP OF ACTIVITIES PERFECT FOR LONG WEEKENDS, STAYCATIONS, VACATIONS ... OR JUST SOME GOOD OLD-FASHIONED FUN!Get Outside! 10 Playful Activities
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- The Five Warning Signs of Asperger's Syndrome
- What Makes a School Effective?
- Child Development Theories
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Test Problems: Seven Reasons Why Standardized Tests Are Not Working
- Bullying in Schools
- A Teacher's Guide to Differentiating Instruction
- First Grade Sight Words List