Common Core State Standards ([CCSS], 2016) confirmed that acquiring vocabulary is very important in relation to a child’s comprehension skills. CCSS (2016) identified the following about a child’s vocabulary:
- “They need incremental, repeated exposure through a variety of contexts” (p. 32)
- Kids learn through oral conversations early in life
- School age children need to be introduced to new words because new words are introduced less frequently in conversation
- Vocabulary stagnates in conversation by grade four or five unless it is acquired from written context (Hayes & Ahrens as cited by CCSS, 2016).
- “If students are truly to understand what they read, they must grasp upward of 95 percent of the words” (Betts; Carver; Hu & Nation; Laufer as cited by CCSS, 2016, p. 32)
According to Adams, “When we read, it is through words that we build, refine, and modify our knowledge. What makes vocabulary valuable and important is not the words themselves so much as the understandings they afford” (as cited in Common Core State Standards [CCSS], 2016).
“Vocabulary consists of the words we understand when we hear or read them (receptive vocabulary) and words we speak or write (expressive vocabulary)” (Hutton, 2008, p. 1).
According to NCDPI (n.d, Slide 17) “the goal of vocabulary instruction is for students to know words well, be able to explain them, and use them in multiple contexts.”
The two videos define and provide further explanations as to the importance of academic vocabulary.
(LearningAZ Video, 2016)
Click the following link to view a conversation from Engage NY between Kate Gerson, Senior Fellow for Educator Engagement & the Common Core; New York State Commissioner John B. King, Jr.; and David Coleman, a contributing author of Common Core State Standards (EngageNY, 2016)