Vocabulary Development Tips & Tricks

Vocabulary Development

Welcome back to another good ol’ teacher blog! As easy as it may sound, teaching vocabulary is no easy task. However, there is a lot of resources, strategies, and things you can do in your classroom to support language development. I could honestly be here all day writing about vocabulary, but I have narrowed it out to some strategies that have helped me.

There are different ways to introduce new words. Some common strategies are the KIM strategy and the Marzano Vocabulary Strategy. One of my personal favorites is the Frayer Model. The Frayer model is a graphic organizer that gives the student the opportunity to define the word, give examples, list characteristics, and draw a picture.

Not all words are created equal! Vocabulary instruction has to be intentional and focus specifically on developing Tier Two level words. This involved academic language and vocabulary they can use across domains and subjects.

Have you ever had a student read a book and then BOOM, they stumble upon a word they don’t know what it means. What do you do? Give them the answers? As teachers, it is our duty to provide our students tools to be able to do things independently. Unfortunately, Miss. Neri cannot always be there to tell a student what a word means. It is important we teach students to look at context clues to attempt to define a word. Using the words around the unknown word will be able to give the student an idea of what it means.


· Exposure to the new word plays a critical role in vocabulary development. The more the student hears the word, the more they will remember it. When students engage with the words, it will foster comprehension.

· Visuals can be very helpful as well. For an English language learner, being able to see what a word means through a picture or drawing can facilitate their understanding of the word. For example, the word frolic. You can show the students with your body movements what frolicking means, to play and more about cheerfully.

· Cognates will help students make connects between L1 and L2.

· Interactive words wall are displayed in the classroom and include a visual along with the words. This is a simple way to have multiple encounters with the words. When I was a student, I would doze off and stare at the walls in the classroom. If students are spacing out, they can look at something educational such as the word wall.


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