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ERIC Number: EJ840430
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May-13
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Partnership's First Product Aimed at Middle School Vocabulary
Viadero, Debra
Education Week, v28 n31 p1, 14-15 May 2009
When researchers from the Strategic Education Research Partnership (SERP) met with Boston secondary school teachers three years ago, the teachers told them they had a problem. Students struggled to understand their textbook lessons because they continually tripped up on--or glossed over--the academic words they came across. The researchers' solution--which SERP researchers last month began making widely available for free to schools around the country--is a program called Word Generation. It consists of short, engaging vocabulary-boosting lessons that are taught each day by different teachers across the middle school curriculum. A rigorous evaluation of the program has yet to be done, but preliminary studies point to promising results. After 12 weeks of lessons, students who took part in the program scored as well on vocabulary tests as nonparticipating students who were two years older, according to Catherine E. Snow, the Harvard University scholar who is leading the Word Generation project. The early studies also showed that, while all students improved, the effects were strongest for English-language learners, who represent one-fifth of the 55,800-student Boston district's enrollment. Word Generation is the first "use inspired" product for the SERP Institute, which was formed by the National Academies with financial help from a wide range of private foundations in 2003 as a vehicle for improving educational research, and getting educators to use it, by conducting studies that are rooted in real-world problems.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Junior High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts