Six Goals of an Ideal Vocabulary Curriculum

Six Goals of an Ideal Vocabulary Curriculum

Tim Shanahan

Teacher question:
Could you recommend a strong vocabulary curriculum that my school could adopt?
 
Shanahan responds: 
However, while there are vocabulary programs, this is an area where teachers are often expected to go their own way. Given that, let me suggest the scope of an outstanding vocabulary curriculum. My focus here is on what needs to be taught, rather than on the instructional approaches needed to accomplish this.
 
Overall, an ideal vocabulary curriculum would encourage the teaching of six things.
 
First, the ideal vocabulary curriculum would aim to increase students’ knowledge of the meanings of specific words. Vocabulary knowledge is closely correlated with reading comprehension (Nation, 2009), and there are studies in which words have been taught thoroughly enough to raise reading comprehension (NICHD, 2000). Knowing the meanings of words matters.

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