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How Can I Effectively Teach Vocabulary in a Meaningful Way?

Angie Neal, MS, CCC-SLP

August 1, 2023

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Question

How can I effectively teach vocabulary in a meaningful way?

Answer

To effectively teach vocabulary in a meaningful way, you can follow the steps outlined below:

1. Pronounce the word and have students repeat it to reinforce phonological memory.

2. Write the word on the board and discuss its syllables, sounds, phonic patterns, morphemes, and/or origin, depending on the age of the students.

3. Use a student-friendly definition sentence script to explain the meaning of the word. Add visual supports and relate the word to students' background knowledge.

A --------   is (a) --------------------    that (is, does) ---------------.

   (word)              (synonym, category)                     (defining attribute)

4. For nouns, discuss visual characteristics such as size, shape, color, composition, function, and location to develop visualization skills to support comprehension.

5. Talk about other words connected to the new word, including synonyms, words in the same category, and contexts in which the word is typically used.

6. Provide examples of how the word can be used and how it cannot be used to clarify its meaning and usage.

7. Ask questions about the word's meaning that can be answered with "yes" or "no" to deepen understanding and engagement.

8. Encourage students to use the new word in various ways and contexts, incorporating it into their vocabulary.

9. Frequently use the new word in your interactions with students to reinforce its usage and familiarity.

By following these steps, you can engage students in active learning, scaffold their understanding of new vocabulary, and provide meaningful contexts for them to acquire and use the words effectively.

 

This Ask the Expert is an edited excerpt from the course The Impact of Tech on Development and Academic Readinesspresented by Angie Neal, MS, CCC-SLP.


angie neal

Angie Neal, MS, CCC-SLP

Angie Neal is the Speech-Language Pathology Consultant at the South Carolina State Department of Education, a member of ASHA's School Issues Advisory Board, a graduate of ASHA’s inaugural School-Based Leadership Development Program, a board member with the State Education Agency Communication Disabilities Council, published author, a LETRS facilitator for South Carolina, previous adjunct faculty for the University of South Carolina, and previous board member for the South Carolina International Dyslexia Association. Mrs. Neal is a frequent presenter on a variety of topics such as cultural and linguistic diversity, language and literacy, remediation of /r/, and pragmatics. 


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