Loading

PDST - Primary Language Curriculum e-Bulletin 10: Vocabulary (Part 2)

This is the second of a two part eBulletin focusing on vocabulary. In the first bulletin, which can be found here, we shared some ideas for teaching individual words and fostering word consciousness. In this edition we will explore some suggestions for teaching word-learning strategies and providing pupils with frequent, varied and extensive language experiences. Furthermore, we will explore some suggested approaches to maintaining new words within and outside the classroom and methods to assess vocabulary.

The suggested tasks support an inclusive learning environment and provide opportunities for children to meaningfully access the learning outcome in order to reach their full potential. Freastalaíonn an e-bulletin seo ar chur chun cinn an Bhéarla agus na Gaeilge le páistí bunscoile.

Is féidir formhór na straitéisí agus na ngníomhaíochtaí atá luaite thíos a dhéanamh as Béarla agus as Gaeilge.

Teaching individual words (focail aonair a mhúineadh) can deepen pupils’ knowledge of word meanings. In-depth knowledge of word meanings can help pupils understand what they are hearing or reading. When teachers provide extended instruction that promotes active engagement, pupils are given repeated exposure to new words.

Fostering word consciousness (feasacht d'fhocail a chothú): The term “word consciousness” refers to an awareness of and interest in words and their meanings (Graves & Watts-Taffe, 2002).

Learners use word-learning strategies (straitéisí foghlama focal) such as root words, prefixes and suffixes in an effort to infer the meanings of unknown words they meet. Teachers must explicitly draw pupils’ attention to the range of strategies and scaffold the use of the strategies through effective teacher prompting.

Frequent, varied and extensive language experiences (raon leathan d'eispéiris éagsúla teanga go rialta): Immersion in a word-rich environment which incorporates rich and varied experiences in listening, discussion, reading and writing. We want to make the classroom a word-rich environment that encourages and celebrates rich word usage.

Vocabulary across the Curriculum

As mentioned above, this eBulletin's focus is on Vocabulary. Vocabulary appears across all three stands in both Gaeilge agus Béarla. Stages 1-4 are linked below. It is worthwhile also mentioning, that the activities listed, whilst focusing explicitly on the teaching of vocabulary, encompass and implicitly address many other outcomes of the curriculum.

Task Card 1: Teaching Word Learning Strategies

Word learning strategies are mental processes that a learner employs when he or she comes across an unknown word while reading. The ultimate goal of strategy instruction over a substantial period of time is to teach children to use multiple strategies flexibly and independently. (Wright and Cervetti, 2017)

When children encounter an unfamiliar word in a text they can often figure out its meaning if they apply strategies such as using word parts, using context and consulting a reference. This, in turn, enables them to expand their vocabulary.

Task card 1a outlines various word-learning strategies which can help pupils to understand the meaning of unfamiliar words.

The use of these strategies can be encouraged and reinforced using games. Task card 1b outlines an example of one such game, Word Definition Bingo. In it children practise using prefixes to figure out what words mean. Baineann páistí taitneamh agus tairbhe as cluichí den saghas seo a imirt as Béarla agus as Gaeilge. Tagann na páistí ar thuiscint níos fearr ar mhoirféimí atá le fáil sa dá theanga amhlaidh. Spreagtar iad chun focail a roinnt ina moirféimí d’fhonn iad a litriú chomh maith.

Task Card 2: Provide Rich and Varied Language Experiences

Dar leis an ábhar tacaíochta Sealbhú Teanga agus an Cur Chuige Cumarsáideach ba chóir go gcruthódh múinteoirí ...

... go leor deiseanna chun an teanga nua a dhaingniú agus chun cabhrú le páistí éirí muiníneach maidir le húsáid na teanga.

Cabhraíonn sé seo le páistí an teanga a fhoghlaim níos fearr agus éirí compordach á húsáid mar ...

Words are typically learned gradually (Baumann et al., 2003), and the more actively and deeply students process words, the better they learn them. (Blachowicz & Fisher, 2000; Stahl & Fairbanks, 1986).

Moltar go sonrach i gCuraclam Teanga na Bunscoile go mbeadh deiseanna ag páistí stór focal a chleachtadh le struchtúr abairte cuí go minic. Moltar go mbeadh eispéiris foghlama spraíúla acu chomh maith. Míníonn na cártaí seo tascanna éagsúla chun tacú le páistí stór focal a shealbhú, struchtúir chearta a dhaingniú agus taitneamh a bhaint as an nGaeilge.

I gcárta 2a moltar gníomhaíochtaí chun stór focal a chleachtadh agus a shealbhú.

Tá cárta 2b dírithe ar leabhar simplí ranga a chur le chéile chun stór focal a chleachtadh le struchtúr abairte cuí. Is féidir úsáid a bhaint as leabhairíní Séideán Sí mar théacsanna meantóireachta don tasc seo.

Déanann cárta 2c cur síos ar Abairtí Daonna. Spreagann an cluiche taitneamhach seo páistí chun stór focal a úsáid le struchtúr abairte cuí agus a shealbhú.

Task Card 3: Maintaining and Assessing New Words

Every time we encounter a word, our knowledge of that word becomes a bit more precise.

Developing a large vocabulary is a key goal for language learners, supporting their reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. Typically, learners do not learn everything about a word at the first meeting; this knowledge develops over time. Children need frequent encounters with new words if they are to become a permanent part of an individual’s vocabulary repertoire. Ní mór do dhaltaí machnamh a dhéanamh ar na focail a fhoghlaimíonn siad agus úsáid a bhaint astu.

Pupils should have opportunities to maintain their vocabulary learning and elaborate their understanding of words by meeting words they have learned in contexts beyond the instructional ones. Once pupils have had the opportunity to engage with and explore new words, they need to continue their interactions with these words across the school term/year. In this task card, we will focus on maintaining new words within and outside the classroom.

We will also look at vocabulary assessment as an effective assessment strategy, in achieving better outcomes for children.

“Teachers should understand assessment as simply a natural part of what happens in the classroom, moment by moment, day by day” Lysaght et al.

Assessment should be seen as a central element of effective teaching and responsibility for assessment does not lie solely with the teacher, but also with the child and their peers, through the use of self and peer-assessment methods. Through peer and self-assessment, children become more aware of the relative depth of their knowledge of specific concepts by rating their vocabulary knowledge on a scale.

We would love to see vocabulary development in action so please tag us in any work you share on Twitter using #PDST @PDSTLiteracy @PDSTGaeilge and @PDSTie.

References

Beck, I.L., McKeown, M.G., and Kucan, L. (2013). Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction (Second Edition). New York: The Guilford Press.

Graves, M. F., Schneider, S., & Ringstaff, C. (2018). Empowering students with word‐learning strategies: Teach a child to fish. The Reading Teacher, 71(5), 533–543. doi:10.1002/trtr.2018.71.

Graves, M. F., & Watts-Taffe, S. M. (2002). The place of word consciousness in a research-based vocabulary program. In S. J. Samuels & A. E. Farstrup (Eds.), What research has to say about reading instruction (3rd ed., pp. 140-165). Newark, DE.

Lysaght, Z., Scully, D., Murchan, D., O’Leary, M. and Shiel, G. (2019) Aligning Assessment, Learning and Teaching in Curricular Reform and Implementation. CARPE Dublin City University, Trinity College Dublin, Educational Research Centre. (Research Commissioned by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment)

National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (2007) Assessment in the Primary School Curriculum: Guidelines for schools, Dublin.

Richek, M. (2005). Words Are Wonderful: Interactive, Time-Efficient Strategies to Teach Meaning Vocabulary. The Reading Teacher, 58(5), 414–423. doi: 10.1598/RT.58.5.1

Wright, T. S., & Cervetti, G. N. (2017). A systematic review of the research on vocabulary instruction that impacts text comprehension. Reading Research Quarterly, 52, 203–226. doi:10.1002/rrq.163

Credits:

Created with images by Ben White - "untitled image" • frender - "questions concept 3d illustration"