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ERIC Number: EJ1163963
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0040-0599
Enhancing Adolescents' Comprehension of Text by Building Vocabulary Knowledge
Swanson, Elizabeth; Vaughn, Sharon; Wexler, Jade
TEACHING Exceptional Children, v50 n2 p84-94 Nov-Dec 2017
When students read more, vocabulary knowledge increases (Cunningham & Stanovich, 2003; Krashen, 2004). Out of every 100 unknown words that students encounter while reading, they learn an average of 15 of them from text alone (Swanborn & de Glopper, 1999). In addition, as students age, they are more likely to infer word meanings, indicating that word learning through reading may actually increase over time (Swanborn & de Glopper, 1999). Because lower-level readers make fewer and less helpful inferences (e.g., Cain & Oakhill, 1999, 2007; Denton et al., 2015), it may be more difficult for students with disabilities to build vocabulary through wide reading alone. Instead, students with disabilities may require teacher support during text reading to encourage higher-quality inferences and greater gains in vocabulary knowledge (Wilkinson, Wardrop, & Anderson, 1988). Students are more likely to learn vocabulary while reading when they can identify difficult words. In order to boost vocabulary knowledge through text-based approaches, students with disabilities should not only read more but be taught strategies for learning the meanings of words (Harmon et al., 2005). This article describes how teachers can design their own instructional materials to introduce new vocabulary (e.g., in social studies, teach the meaning of words such as revolution and colony) and explain how this new vocabulary relates to content area concepts. The practices described are essential for all students but especially for students with disabilities who are expected to be independent learners while facing a multitude of additional text-based challenges (e.g., word reading).
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS); Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: H326M150016; R324A150181; R305A150407