Vocabulary Technology is Part of Best-Pratice Instruction


In 2000 the National Reading Panel came up with a list of best practice instruction for vocabulary and computer technology was among the recommendations. “While computer technology is still in its infancy, the few studies reported in the literature suggest that this may be a powerful way of increasing vocabulary,” the report said. They reported two findings based on this early research.

Computer technology could:

a) be used alongside direct vocabulary instruction

b) bring to bear many different media

What does this mean? We believe it means keep using your tried and true best practice methods, but add vocabulary apps and programs to the mix. Using computer technology with direct vocabulary instruction adds another modality to teaching vocabulary and “ensures more effective vocabulary learning.”

InferCabulary meets these requirements by adding visuals as another modality for learning vocabulary. It pairs amazing photographs with captions and audio to help students learn new vocabulary terms in a variety of contexts. Studies show students must encounter words 10-12 times to understand a word in a variety of contexts and InferCabulary does this. 

Number one reason to use computer technology for vocabulary instruction — it engages the student in a way many instruction methods do not. The National Reading Panel noted that “Active learning is best. When students were engaged in the task in which they were learning, they had larger gains.” With InferCabulary, we hear students are spending more than the 15 minutes assigned by the teacher for homework. They love the process and it holds their attention.

Take the plunge into vocabulary technology and add it to your bag of tools for vocabulary instruction.