Strategies for Teaching Vocabulary

EDIM-508 Gina Molinaro

Explicit Vocabulary Instruction

Pre-teaching Vocabulary Words

One of the most effective methods of helping children learn new vocabulary words is to teach unfamiliar words used in a text prior to the starting a reading passage. Teachers should review reading words to find out which words are not known. These words should be defined and discussed. When pre-teaching is complete students read the text.

Repeated Exposure to Words.

However, repeated exposure to new vocabulary words is often ignored. Having numerous opportunities to use a new word in its written and spoken form helps children reinforce the understanding of it.

Keyword Method

Like pre-teaching, the keyword method occurs before a child reads a particular text the reason for the keyword method is to create an easy recognizable link to the word’s meaning that the reader can access efficiently during a reading experience.

Word Maps

The word map is an excellent method for scaffolding a child’s vocabulary learning. Using prior knowledge the child fills in each of categories on the map this helps the reader develop a complete understanding of words they are trying to learn.

Root Analysis

While root analysis is taught precisly, the ultimate goal is for readers to use this strategy independently. The reader should see how the root helps her understand the word’s definition. Children should then be given practice analyzing words to determine their roots and definitions.

Implicit Vocabulary Instruction

Incidental Learning

Incidental vocabulary learning occurs all of the time when we read. Based on the way a word is used in a text we are able to determine its meaning. While you may not know what a specific word means using context clues may help the student find the meaning that way.

Context Skills

Context skills are the strategies that a reader uses for incidental vocabulary learning. Writing is full of context clues about the meanings of the words. Students should be taught how to find context clues so they can understand what they are reading. Teacher modeling is key for this practice it will help the students develop an important reading skill.

Challenge for Teacher

When the text has too many difficult and challenging words a teacher should try to use different methods such as pictures, explanations of the words and definitions. Doing this is a challenge for the teacher to explain it so everyone comprehends. Pre-Teaching will also help the learner focus on the subject in the text and helps the teacher predict the text using target vocabulary in the reading. Pre-reading should not take long so the teacher then can assess if the students understand it and if they do go straight to reading the text.

Explicit phonics
Teaching Vocabulary using Word Wall


Word Map --

Phillips, K., (2012) Explicit Phonics., Retrieved 12 April, 2014 from

Qbalnich , (2011) Teaching Vocabulary using Word Wall, Retrieved 12 April, 2014 from