Monday, November 19, 2012

Evidence-Based Vocabulary Instruction

Hello! Today I asked Nicole to write a guest post. I know you're going to love it because it's all about vocab and EBP! Please make sure you visit Nicole's blog and become a follower of her work. You won't be disappointed!  Jenna

Hi there!  It’s Nicole from over at Speech Peeps.  So thankful for Jenna allowing me some time with you on her blog.  I am constantly blown away by her ideas so it is quite a treat for me to be a guest on here.

Speech Peeps

Today, I want to talk to you about vocabulary strategies.  Not just vocabulary strategies-but strategies that work.  I know a lot of us out there are hearing those three little words:

Let’s be honest.  Hearing those words used to give me an ulcer.  I would imagine a parent walking in saying: “Prove to me what you’re doing with my child is research-based.”  Yikes!
So….I started doing my own research.  Let’s call it…. “research on research.”

Guess what I found?!

I discovered that most of what I was doing with my students WAS researched-based.  I just hadn’t had the articles in my hand to prove it.  Let’s face it; we speech therapists don’t attend 6+ years of schooling for no reason!  We usually know when something works and when it doesn’t.
I’ll bet most of the strategies that you’re doing with your kiddos are evidence-based as well.  So….I thought I would pass on the research supporting them for you to have.

In this post, I will discuss 3 evidence-based strategies for working on vocabulary, provide you with the research I’ve found, and an activity.

Strategy #1
You might have heard of this strategy. If not, click HERE for a more in-depth breakdown.
This strategy does take more time to teach fewer words, so I choose to use it for those more intensive interventions, or Tier 3 sessions. I also use this strategy with my middle school students using their core curriculum vocabulary. Here are a few beautiful samples from my students:  

Research: Research results showed that in a social studies class in which the LINCS Vocabulary Strategy was taught to students, the students with LD performed at a mean of 53 percent in the pretest and at a mean of 77 percent correct answers after learning the strategy. In the control class in which students did not learn the strategy, the mean percentage of correct answers decreased from the pretest to the posttest.


I created this general worksheet that goes along with LINCS that you can download HERE 

Strategy #2
There’s a ton of research out there on using word relationships to build vocabulary…..AND I bet you’re already doing this.

California Department of Education Research Digest No 7: Evidence-based Reading Instruction (2007) (viewed 1 February 2009)
Beck, I., McKeown, M., & Kucan, L. (2002). Bringing words to life. New York: The Guilford Press.

If you’re doing this already, I’m sure you have some activities. If not though, there’s tons of stuff out there including:

Strategy #3
Using Context Clues
Using context clues to determine word meanings is also a great evidence-based strategy AND this one’s easy to implement.

Apthorp, H. S., (2006). Effects of a supplemental vocabulary program in third-grade reading/language Journal of Educational Research, 100(2), 67-79.
Baumann, J. F., Edwards, E. C., Boland, E. M., Olejnik, S., & Kame'enui, E. J., (2003). Vocabulary tricks: Effects of instruction in morphology and context on fifth-grade students' ability to derive and infer word American Educational Research Journal, 40, 447-494
Clay, K., Zorfass, J., Brann, A., Kotula, A., & Smolkowski, K., (2009). Deepening content understanding in social studies using digital text and embedded vocabulary, Journal of Special Education Technology, 24(4), 1-16
Harris, M. L., (2007). The effects of strategic morphological analysis instruction on the vocabulary performance of secondary students with and without Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences, Vol 68(4-A)

Simply reading a story and stopping to ask what a certain word means uses this strategy.  I always remind myself to ask the student to locate the context clue….so that I know they “get it.”
I also made an activity to work on this as well: Context CluesPacket Using Tier Vocabulary 

Hope this post was reassuring that we ARE doing a lot of great things or provided some new ideas for you.

Thanks again!