19 Concepts and Strategies That You Can Use to Help Your Students Develop an Expansive Vocabulary

If you ask me, what is the most essential literacy skill (besides reading), I would say vocabulary acquisition. It’s one thing to know how to read, but it’s another thing to know what those words mean. That’s where vocabulary comes in. When a child develops an expansive vocabulary, he can then comprehend what he is reading. To help your students acquire an expansive vocabulary, in the paragraphs that follow, we will discuss the 19 concepts and strategies that you need to know.

  1. Cause/Effect Clue – A type of context clue that allows the reader to use reason and the result relation to predict a word’s meaning.
  2. Comparison/Contrast Clue – A type of context clue that provides information about an unknown word using clues about something similar or something different.
  3. Content-Related Words – Vocabulary words related to the content area being taught, such as math, science, or social studies.
  4. Context Clues – A vocabulary strategy to figure out unknown words in a text by using surrounding information.
  5. Definition Clue – A type of context clue that ties an unknown word to a known word or group of words.
  6. Example/Illustration Clue – A type of context clue that provides a picture or model for the meaning of a word.
  7. Incidental Vocabulary Learning – When students learn new vocabulary words and expand their understanding of current words by reading widely, engaging in discussions, having a variety of experiences, and using technology.
  8. Logic Clue – A type of context clue that gives a common-sense link to an unknown word.
  9. Mood/Tone Clue – A type of context clue that gives a description of mood-related to the word to help students understand the unknown word’s meaning.
  10. Root Mapping – A strategy that provides an overview of a root word and the words that can come from that root.
  11. Semantic Feature Analysis Chart – A graphic organizer that helps students to make predictions about characteristics related to a word, to sort by qualities, and to set a purpose for their reading and researching.
  12. Semantic Question Map – A fixed design that is a slight variation from a Semantic Map. A focus word is placed inside of an oval, and then several questions are raised about this new word. The questions may be given by the teacher or the students. Each new question is placed inside an oval that extends from the main oval.
  13. Structural Analysis – Understanding how to analyze a word’s structure using prefixes, roots, and suffixes. This structural analysis helps students to understand the definition of a word and determine the definition of unknown words when reading.
  14. Student Self-Selection – An approach to vocabulary where students select meaningful and challenging words they would like to learn to promote discussion.
  15. Vocabulary Bookmark – A vocabulary strategy where students monitor their own understanding and capability of learning new words. Each student chooses a word from assigned texts that they believe the entire class needs to discuss.
  16. Vocabulary Self-Collection Strategy (VSS) – A vocabulary strategy created by Haggard in 1986 where students select their own vocabulary words to encourage a greater interest.
  17. Vocabulary Development – A term used to describe a student’s increasing knowledge of words and definitions.
  18. Word Consciousness – The awareness of and interest in using new words to become more precise with language.
  19. What are Word Roots The main part of a word. Many words are usually derived from the same root.

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