Module 2 Vocabulary Project

Things I've Learned

The first thing that I learned from this module's reading is that there is more to learning and knowing words. Fisher and Frey (2016) talk about this idea as word schema. This phrase describes, "...the complex web of knowledge of a word, including meta-linguistic, morphological, and patterned" (p.63). This means that truly knowing a words involves not only knowing its definition but also knowing its meaning in the context it is found, its permutations, and the ability to make predictions on the meaning of the words while considering all these factors. This idea is important because a student can know the textbook definition of a word but not really know or understands its true meaning.

The second thing that I learned from this module's reading is that there are classification levels of vocabulary words. Fisher and Frey (2016) identify these categories as general, specialized, and technical (p.64). General consists of vocabulary words that are used in our every day language, specialized consists of vocabulary words that have multiple meanings across different curricular disciplines, and technical consists of vocabulary words that are only used in specific content areas.

The third thing that I learned from this module's reading is that isolated instruction of vocabulary words and rote memorization are inadequate strategies to teach vocabulary acquisition and retention (Fisher & Frey, 2016, p.74). This is normally the "fall back" instruction that teachers use in their classrooms but it is not exactly the best to use. Fisher and Frey (2016) expand on this idea by saying that, "...vocabulary acquisition requires multiple exposures, for authentic purposes, and using various modalities, including speaking and writing" (p.74). Blackowicz and Fisher (2009) advise that in order for you to have an effective vocabulary instruction students should:
  • be actively involved in word learning;
  • make personal connections;
  • be immersed in vocabulary; and
  • consolidate meaning through multiple information sources.

How I Will Use This Knowledge

Being that I am a special education major, depending on what job I will get and the type of classroom I will have, I might not truly have one content area that I teach. Because of this, I found this module to be extremely helpful for my future classroom, especially the readings from Improving Adolescent Literacy by Fisher and Frey (2016). The chapter in this book went over the general idea of vocabulary instruction and strategies in different content areas that could be used. Being that I could potentially be providing supports for students in multiple content areas and grade levels, I feel like I could potentially use all the ideas expressed!