By Katharine Davies Samway, author and Professor Emerita at San José State University in California
Having an extensive vocabulary is very helpful in order to understand, enjoy, and appreciate oral and written language, as well as to succeed in school and the outside world. Vocabulary is often taught in isolation in a rather boring, uninspiring way for many students—being given ten words to define is one example. However, vocabulary development can be a very engaging and exciting experience. Word Consciousness is one such approach—it focuses on language in context and an awareness of and love for language (e.g., Graves & Watts-Taffe, 2008; Samway & Taylor, 2009; Scott & Nagy, 2004).
The following word consciousness/vocabulary development activities are very helpful for English learners (ELs), as well as for non-ELs. Importantly, students who do not have access to a computer and/or the Internet can complete these activities. I mention this because there has been a lot of talk about the importance of online teaching while students are likely to be out of school for weeks, if not months, during the coronavirus epidemic. However, many students who are immigrants and/or come from low-income homes do not have access to the Internet or computers that are necessary for online learning to occur.Continue reading “Supporting EL Students’ Vocabulary Development While Schools Are Closed”