Vocabulary Instruction

Words Matter

Which words should we teach?

This is the essential question for vocabulary instruction. The English language has an estimated one quarter of a million existing words. This is amazing! Now realize that the continued evolution and dynamic nature of the English language ensures that new words are always being added. This requires educators to filter through and discover which words provide the most value for children today. Are there words that are worth more, and if so how do we find them?

Why is Vocabulay Instruction Important? Words have Power!

"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug." -Mark Twain, The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain

About Me

My name is Heather Reiss, and I attend East Carolina University. I will graduate December 2014 with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education. This digital project is an extension of a literary review assignment in one of my final courses. As a topic, I selected vocabulary instruction, with a focus on academic vocabulary.This is a very interesting and relevant topic for educators today. I hope that you find something here that encourages you to look deeper into this area of literacy instruction.


Baumann, J.F., & Graves, M.F. (2010). What is academic vocabulary? Journal of
Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 54
(1), 4-12. doi: 10.1598/JAAL.54.1.1

Goodreads Inc. (2014). Quotable Quote. Retrieved July 26, 2014, from goodreads:

Oxford University Press. (2014). How many words are there in the English language? Retreived
July 26, 2014, from Oxford Dictionaries: Language matters: