Literacy 4-6

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Literacy 4-6 > Strategies > Direct Instruction: Vocabulary

Direct Instruction: Vocabulary


Seeing and using new words repeatedly and in many contexts is critical for Vocabulary acquisition. In discussions, reading, and writing, teachers can provide students multiple opportunities to see, understand, and apply new Vocabulary words, as well as chances to use strategies for identifying unfamiliar words.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch how this sixth grade teacher explicitly teaches new Vocabulary and uses multiple examples to demonstrate how the words can be used. Along with the definition of the word and the part of speech, she gives relevant examples and uses think-pair-share for students to practice using the word.

  • Teachers should explicitly teach the meaning of new words, especially academic Vocabulary, and then provide repeated opportunities to hear and practice using these words in writing and speaking. Teachers should also introduce strategies for identifying word components (e.g., prefixes, roots, suffixes) and using reference materials like glossaries or dictionaries, which can promote independent Vocabulary acquisition skills. Direct instruction in using context clues is also critical for helping students learn new words and strengthen their Verbal Reasoning skills.
  • Design It into Your Product

    Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.

    Learn how SpeakAgent's Vocab Lab supports direct academic language instruction with multimodal activities. Students learn new words by building on known words and using context clues.

  • Developers can expose learners to new Vocabulary through direct instruction by teaching them the meanings of words, showing the words in multiple contexts, and lastly providing repeated practice and opportunities to use those words in different contexts.
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy