Vocabulary in Literature


The goal of assigning books for your students is not just so they can read some really amazing works of literature, but to boost reading comprehension and vocabulary. Did you know that students in grades 3-12 are reading to learn?. That means most vocabulary is acquired by reading. Here are some eye-opening facts from vocabulary researchers –

  • Good readers read approximately one million words per year (Beck & McKeown, 2013)
  • There are 88,500 word families in printed English. (Beck & McKeown, 2013)
  •  To read with minimal disturbance, readers need a vocabulary of 15,000 to 20,000 words (Nation, 2001)
  • Students must understand 98% of the words they read to fully comprehend the text (Schmidt, Jiang & Grabe, 2011)

That’s a lot of words! That last point really hits it home. They need to understand almost all of the words they are reading or they are not comprehending fully what they are reading.

Looking for ways to improve comprehension for literature? InferCabulary can help. You can choose words from a book and filter by grade level and/or chapter in InferCabulary. Many teachers tell us they assign these words for homework the week or night before students will encounter those words in a chapter. This way students comprehend the new words they are reading BEFORE then encounter them in literature.

InferCabulary will not be the only tool in your vocabulary tool box, but it will be one of the most helpful and impacting tools you have. Try the demo today to see how it works.