Fostering Independent Vocabulary Skills


We all have a lot of tools in our vocabulary tool boxes as teachers and speech language pathologists, but one of the most important tools isn’t necessarily in the box. It’s in how we teach vocabulary. Helping students foster an awareness of how to independently learn new words they are reading is just as important as learning word meaning.

Motivate your students to grow their vocabulary skills and they will be better learners for it.

Talk in front of your student, doing a Think Aloud, so they can see how you process new words. Going through the process aloud you can talk about how your figure out the parts of the word and the context. Where might you have seen that word before? What examples can you think of and how would you use it in a sentence. If someone asked me, what would I say the definition of that word is?

Then have your students practice. Have your class work together to figure out the meanings of new words, so students can model for each other how the process works. It requires more interactions with your students and class, but isn’t that what teaching is all about?