Sunday, November 29, 2009

Invest in Vocabulary

THE MAIN GOAL of this blog is to prompt vocabulary instruction, because word knowledge facilitates comprehension (RAND Reading Study Group, 2002). "The learning characteristics that have the strongest causal connection to academic failure are rooted in the area of language” (Coyne, Kame’enui, & Carnine, 2007, p. 38). What is needed is a persistent and consistent investment in word knowledge. That is not what is occurring. In general, vocabulary is given minimal time in schools. This is particularly troublesome in primary grades when the mind is most apt to assimilate new words. “Until schools are prepared to emphasize vocabulary acquisition, especially in the primary grades, less advantaged children will continue to be handicapped even if they master reading written words” (Biemiller & Boote, 2006, p 44). A feckless approach to vocabulary at any grade level is felt most by children of poverty and English language learners.

feck·less (adjective)
1. Lacking purpose or vitality; feeble or ineffective. 2. Careless and irresponsible. 

[Scots feck, effect (alteration of effect) + -less.

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