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Vocabulary development.

Discussion in 'English' started by jocraigie, Nov 9, 2019.

  1. jocraigie

    jocraigie New commenter

    Help! Is it me, or is children's understanding of vocabulary really poor. I have a number of tutees who do not know words that I feel they should - for example a Y4 this morning didn't know the meaning of the word annual.
    I have tried working on a few words at a time with some of my tutees, giving them little activities to do each day, such as replacing the word in a sentence or writing their own sentence. We have played vocabulary match games in sessions. However none of it seems to be working with one of them in particular - he may be able to tell me the meaning of 1 of the words he has had to work on but that's it, or he mixes them up. So last week I only gave him 1 word to earn, this morning I asked him what it meant - he was able to put it into a sentence but not able to tell me what the word or sentence meant!
    I am at a total loss - any ideas gratefully received.
  2. pianopete

    pianopete Occasional commenter

    There are a couple of books that I've found really useful when thinking about vocabulary teaching and planning vocabulary in the curriculum (although I'm secondary English not primary). They are Closing the Vocabulary Gap by Alex Quigley and Bringing Words to Life (Beck et al). They are very readable with lots of ideas and some sections you can dip in and out of.

    In terms of quick fixes - there aren't any. It is suggested that children need around 12 different exposures to a piece of vocabulary (including defining, spelling, using it, synonyms etc.) for it to "stick." It's hard to provide all these in the classroom and schools cannot always close the cultural capital gap if students come with a word-poor home background. Just keep doing what you can!
    jocraigie and tb9605 like this.
  3. MereWill

    MereWill New commenter

  4. roamingteacher

    roamingteacher Established commenter Forum guide

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