-Vocabulary Knowledge and Concept Development-

-Chapter Nine-

Key Terms

Analogy- A comparison between two things, typically on the basis of their structure and for the purpose of explanation or clarification.

Aptitude hypothesis- A belief that vocabulary and comprehension reflect general intellectual ability.

Categorization- Critical manipulation of words in relation to other words through the labeling of ideas, events, or objects.

Concept circles- A Vocabulary activity in which students identify conceptual relationships among words and phrases that are partitioned withing a circle.

Instrumental hypothesis-Belief in a causal chain between vocabulary knowledge and comprehension; that is,  if comprehension depends in part ton the knowledge of word meanings, vocabulary instruction should influence comprehension.

Knowledge hypothesis- The suggestion that vocabulary and comprehension reflect general knowledge rather than intellectual ability.

Multiple-meaning words- Words for which readers must rely on context in order to determine meaning.

Paired-word sentence generation- Teaching strategy that asks students to take two related words and create one sentence that correctly demonstrates and understanding of the words and their relationship to one another.

Predictogram-A strategy that develops students’ meaning vocabulary through the use of story elements.

Self-selection strategy- A strategy that helps students monitor their own vocabulary growth by selecting unknown vocabulary words.

Semantic mapping- A strategy that shoes readers and writers how to organize important information.

Think sheets- List of questions used to elicit responses about texts for discussion purposes.

Vocabulary- A panoply of words we use, recognize and respond to in meaningful acts of communication.

Word knowledge rating- A strategy that helps students develop an awareness of how well they know vocabulary words by rating themselves on their knowledge of words based on a continuum.

Word sorts- Vocabulary development through categorization activities with groups of words.


-Components of vocabulary-

  1. Listening
  2. Speaking
  3. Reading
  4. Writing

-Principles to Guide Vocabulary Instruction-

Principle 1: Select words in actual reading materials

  • Choose words which are essential to understanding the entire text.
  • Choose words without clues.
  • Choose words which are to be encountered even in other texts.

Recommended Words

  • Key words/ content specific words or those that appear in materials for basic reading
  • Useful words/ general academic vocabulary or those which almost always appear in texts
  • Interesting words or those that tickle the imagination or those with intriguing origins
  • Vocabulary- building words of those with clues

Priciple 2: Relate words with other words

  • Henry (1974) recommends word sorting or ” joining”. Joining allows comparing, classifying, and generalizing.


  • Which four words are alike?


  • He also recommends ” excluding”. It involves discrimination, negation, and rejection of words in a group.


  • Which word does not belong to the group?


  • He also suggests ” selecting”. Selecting involves choosing and explaining reasons behind a choice. Knowledge on synonyms and antonyms helps ease this cognitive process.


  • Rena’s quiet behavior was mistaken for ______.

a. shyness b. modesty c. terror

The answer is C.

  • He also emphasizes ” implying”. This involves making choices based in if then course and effect relationship.
  • E.g. Pedal is to bicycle as engine is to …

a. driver b. car c. wheel d. road

Principle3: Relate words with schema

  • Use the words in sentences with clues regarding the meaning
  • The clues must be familiar among students
  • E.g. Sherlock Holmes is a famous sleuth.

a. adventurer b. scientist c. detective d. criminal

  •     Loud is to sound as bright is to

a. day b. music c. night d. light

Principle 4: Teach words in Pre-Reading and Post-Reading Activities

  • Do the traditional unlocking of difficulties
  • Use the new words learned during the post reading activities such as questions
  • Use the new words learned even in retelling

Principle 5: Teach words systematically and in-depth

  • Ask students to find an antonym for the world learned
  • Ask the students to fill in blanks with the new words learned
  • Ask students to restate definitions
  • Ask students to define the word based on their experience
  • Ask students to use the word in a meaningful sentence

Principle 6: Awake interest in and enthusiasm for word

  • Be enthusiastic in teaching
  • Use words in discussions even after the learning of a text with that word
  • Tell origins and derivation of words
  • Vary strategies in teaching vocabulary
  • Use gadgets such as computers, cameras, and even video games in teaching

-Strategies for Vocabulary and Concept Development-

  1. Relating Experiences to Vocabulary Learning
  2. Using context for vocabulary growth
  3. Developing Word Meanings
  4. Classifying and Categorizing words
  5. Developing Word Meanings Through Stories and Writing
  6. Developing Independence in Vocabulary Learning

-Classroom Application-

  1. Carry out the various principles of vocabulary instruction in your classroom.
  2. Use various strategies when teaching such as Paired-word sentence generation, Predictogram, Self-selection strategy.
  3. Utilize Think Sheets when facilitating group discussion.