Text Talk: Robust Vocabulary Instruction for grades K-3Text Talk®: Robust Vocabulary Instruction for grades K-3

About Vocabulary
Building an extensive vocabulary is critical during the early grades.

Research shows that children arrive to school with greatly varying vocabulary levels. This gap often grows wider as students progress through the grades. While all students benefit from direct instruction in vocabulary, it is particularly important for those students who enter school with limited opportunities to pick up words from adults in their environments. Recent research by Dr. Elfrieda Hiebert* shows that the vocabulary instruction currently offered in basal reading series is not effective enough to make up this early gap.
Students in the early grades need to build rich vocabularies through speaking and listening.
Test Analysis
The Importance of Vocabulary on 3rd and 4th Grade Standardized Tests (PDF)

Harcourt (PDF – 1.1 MB)
Houghton-Mifflin (PDF – 1.31 MB)
Open Court (PDF – 1.4 MB)
Scott Foresman (PDF – 740 KB)
Reading achievement requires students to have a strong vocabulary base.

To successfully comprehend text, children must understand that words carry meaning. A rich vocabulary is essential to successful reading comprehension. To succeed on the verbal portions of standardized tests, students must answer both vocabulary and reading comprehension questions. Teachers in Grades K–3 have the opportunity to significantly improve students’ vocabulary. If effective vocabulary instruction is delivered during the early grades, children have the opportunity to build the vocabulary needed to comprehend text.

What is robust vocabulary?

* Hiebert, E.H., Brown, Z.A.,Taitague, C., Fisher, C., & Adler, M.A. (2004).Texts and English Language Learners: Scaffolding Entree to Reading.To appear in: F. Boyd, C. Brock, & M. Rozendal (Eds.), Multicultural and multilingual literacy and language practices. New York, NY. Guilford Publications, Inc.


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