ERIC Number: ED197795
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
Teaching Content and Improving Vocabulary: You CAN Do Both!
Griffin, Beverly Norris
Community college professors have a responsibility as teachers to help students learn the many new words which must be added to their high school vocabularies if they are to be successful. While some instructors provide students with a list of jargon words relevant to a particular course, most ignore the problem posed by new words encountered in reading assignments and merely assume that students will look them up in a dictionary. Yet even if students had the time to look up as many words as necessary to understand their reading assignments, few would be able to determine which of the various definitions for any given word is relevant to the passage they are reading. As a result, many words will appear to students as gibberish and render reading assignments meaningless. Therefore, it is incumbent upon instructors to provide, where possible, paragraph-by-paragraph vocabulary guides for each text, listing short definitions for key words. In addition, instructors can improve student vocabulary by: (1) requiring students to learn 50 new words relevant to the course; (2) instruct students in the meaning of prefixes; and (3) help students use and recognize context clues, such as punctuation, definitions in context, the part of speech of a particular word, chapter titles and other visual signals, key words (i.e., "previously" or "in addition"), and footnotes. The report includes examples of each technique. (JP)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Shelby State Community Coll., Memphis, TN.