The Vocabulary Rich Classroom

Dayna Hartley, Section C, Febuary 10, 2016

Effective Implementation

Teachers need to use and model sophisticated vocabulary within the classroom. This can be accomplished by first identifying words students are using consistently understand well. Then, the teacher can identify sophisticated vocabulary that relates to the students word choices.The teacher can then implement this vocabulary into a lesson or activity to replace the simpler words the students are using with the more sophisticated, descriptive vocabulary. The teacher should provide students with multiple encounters of these words to help students to understand their meanings. Thus, gradually, the students will be able to understand the meaning of these words and how to use them in practice. This will help students to use more descriptive, sophisticated vocabulary to deepen their knowledge and comprehension of words.

Four Types of Vocabulary

1. Oral Vocabulary

2. Print Vocabulary

3. Receptive Vocabulary

4. Productive Vocabulary

Classroom Benefits

  • Vocabulary learning can help to promote reading comprehension and help students who struggle with reading.
  • Using sophisticated vocabulary can help students to improve their decoding skills in reading.
  • Helps students to use vocabulary words in the right context
  • Using sophisticated vocabulary can also help to challenge students and engage them in new learnings.
  • Students can make connections to prior knowledge to help build their vocabulary.
  • Learning sophisticated vocabulary can help students to remember and understand the meanings of words and access their definitions quickly.

Classroom Limitations

  • Modeling Sophisticated Vocabulary can take a lot of planning and preparation on the teachers part. However, in the end, the students will have a richer vocabular to help them to read and understand the meaning of words more effectively.

Implications for Classroom

Implementing sophisticated vocabulary into the classroom can help students to expand their vocabulary. However, the teacher must reflect on the students word choice and plan for how to effectively implement this sophisticated vocabulary into the classroom. The new vocabulary needs to be related to "familiar concepts" to students are learning about. It is important to understand what knowledge students have of words in order to help deepen their vocabulary and understanding. First of all, the teacher needs to plan when, where and how she or he will implement the vocabulary. What activities or time of day would be effective for implementing these vocabulary words? Then the teacher needs to gradually implement the sophisticated vocabulary and provide students with multiple exposures to the word. As the students practice with the vocabulary, they will have a better understanding of the words and how they can be used. This can help students to develop word consciousness so that they can understand words and implement them effectively.

Reflection on the Article

Overall, this article presented several key points on why and how sophisticated vocabulary can be used in the classroom. I believe that implementing sophisticated vocabulary is essential for students to help them to grow and learn in all content areas. Students need to be given the opportunity to use and experience sophisticated vocabulary so that they can implement it into their everyday language use. This article is important because it helps teachers to see how they can implement sophisticated vocabulary in an effective, engaging manner. Thus, the strategies in this article can change the way teachers present vocabulary to their students. Instead of just having students copy vocabulary words from the dictionary, teachers can incorporate vocabulary into the classroom language. This can help students to practice using sophisticated words to help expand their knowledge and vocabulary.

Strategies for Implementing Sophisticated Vocabulary

The article Doing It Differently: Tips for Teaching Vocabulary says that when teaching vocabulary, the teacher should allow students to help pick out the vocabulary words they focus on and learn. That way the students are more invested in their learning and have more of an interest in the words. Once the class has selected the vocabulary words, the teacher should then explain their meaning to the class. Then the students should be allowed to use and define the vocabulary words in their own words. This can help them to comprehend and understand the meaning of the words.

Additionally, the article Word Work and Word Play, emphasizes the importance of immersing students in vocabulary usage. The way students learn vocabulary is through experience and practice. Therefore, students need to be exposed to meaningful vocabulary in a way that can challenge and extend their knowledge. This can help students to develop a rich and sophisticated vocabulary that can help them with reading and other important aspects of their lives.

Open-Ended Questions

1. In what ways do you think vocabulary growth can help a to expand student's knowledge?

2. What are some different ways to implement sophisticated vocabulary in the classroom?

3. How can you make sophisticated vocabulary use fun and interactive for the students?


Alber, R. (2010, December 17). Doing It Differently: Tips for Teaching Vocabulary. [Web blog]. Retrieved from

Farina, C. (2015). Word Work and Word Play: A Practice Guide for Vocabulary in the K-12 Classroom. Retrieved from

Lane, H. B., & Allen, S. A. (2010). The Vocabulary-Rich Classroom: Modeling Sophisticated Word Use to Promote Word Consciousness and Vocabualry Growth. The Reading Teacher, 63(5), 362-370.