Vocabulary

As a student I can remember the countless time that I spent copying the bold words from the textbook and writing their definition. We would then have a test to either fill in the blank with the correct word or match the words and the definitions. This practice was thought to be our vocabulary lesson for the week.
Most teachers still incorporate vocabulary into their lessons today.
Vocabulary is the words or terms that we must know in order to be able to communicate with others effectively.

In general, researchers and educators will say that there are four types of vocabulary. The first type is reading vocabulary (words that we need to know to read) and the second type is oral or speaking vocabulary (words that we need to know to communicate an idea to others). The final two types are listening vocabulary and written vocabulary. Listening vocabulary addresses the words that we need to know to comprehend words spoken to us. Writing vocabulary is the words that we use in writing text.

Vocabulary has an important role in reading ability. When learning to read children tend to use the words that they have heard and know to make sense out of the words that they read. The larger the child’s vocabulary is, the more words they will have to relate their reading to. When a child sounds out an unfamiliar word it is easier for the child to decode and say the word if it is one that he or she has heard before.

Knowing the meanings of a variety of words can also help a child’s reading comprehension. It is difficult for a child to understand the text if he or she can say the words but does not know the meaning of them. Just as being able to say the words, understanding what is spoken also plays a very important part in reading.

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