Many of our students will need a boost to their vocabulary. This may be because they have missed out on learning, or that remote learning is not as effective as in-school learning (especially for children with a learning disability).
As we know, language development is a crucial element in reading comprehension (check out ‘The Simple View of Reading’), and vocabulary is a core element of language development. So, which words should we be teaching?
There are 3 tiers of language in school:
TIER 1: Basic everyday language that children will hear and use at home, e.g. ‘dog’, ‘tired’, ‘home’, ‘slow’.
TIER 2: Highly-frequent academic words that appear across the curriculum, e.g. ‘precede’, ‘contradict’, ’emerge’.
TIER 3: Words that appear in specific fields of study, e.g. ‘photosynthesis’, ‘thesis’, ‘metaphor’.
Children in primary and middle school will need a boost to Tier 2 words. This is important because these words allow them access to the curriculum and to a higher level of reading comprehension. They may not be hearing these words at home and they many not be reading them in books.
A great way to boost the knowledge of the words is a focus on common prefixes that many of these Tier 2 words share. e.g. con/com (meaning ‘with’ as in ‘conduct’), pre (meaning ‘before’ as in ‘preview’), dis (meaning ‘apart’ as in distract’).
We have made some FREE info-graphics showing how you can teach these prefixes with only one root word. Children learn a batch of words with a common morpheme/meaning. The idea is that you can focus on one root word, e.g. ‘tract’ (meaning ‘pull’/’draw’) and attach it to the same prefixes the children already know. The slide below shows how you can do this.
To download these free resources go to