Literacy 7-12

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Literacy 7-12 > Strategies > Accessible Vocabulary & Syntax

Accessible Vocabulary & Syntax


Using language that is accessible and appropriately leveled for each student allows all students to feel successful and participate in learning. When teachers incorporate challenging but accessible Vocabulary words in their daily instruction, they create an environment for students to feel comfortable practicing, applying, and growing their Vocabulary knowledge. By modeling Syntax in their daily language, teachers repeatedly expose students to sentence structures that they can adopt in their own speech, which is especially valuable for students whose Primary Language is not English.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch how this teacher provides sentence starters for students to use in a discussion, making participating accessible to all. By providing these language supports that students can use when engaging with others, she alleviates challenges in initiating conversation and helps them practice professional and academic language.

  • Teachers can strategically simplify their Syntax and Vocabulary to relieve students' cognitive load in Working Memory, especially if they need to focus on some other challenging aspect of learning. Additionally, teachers can use other strategies like word walls and sentence frames to support students as they use more complex Vocabulary and Syntax.
  • 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.

    Watch how Newsela provides nonfiction texts at adaptive reading levels, which allows learners to read authentic, engaging texts at their appropriate lexile level. Additionally, through their Power Words feature, key Vocabulary is highlighted within the articles and added to their individual word walls, allowing learners to remember or reference their definitions in context.

  • Products can provide adaptive language that adjusts to the appropriate Vocabulary and Syntax complexity that can be read and understood by learners. They can also introduce features for learners to practice target words and grow their Vocabulary understanding.