Specific Vocabulary Instruction

Course Progress

Direct Teaching of Specific Words

The desired outcome of skilled reading is understanding and learning from text. Specific word instruction is a member of a set of evidence-based teaching practices shown to improve vocabulary knowledge in young learners. This type of instruction teaches new vocabulary within the context of reading with many opportunities for student practice and review. Through specific instruction on target vocabulary, students understand important and useful words that facilitate their comprehension of oral language and grade level text (est. completion time: 3 hours).

  • Specific Vocabulary Instruction
    • Navigation and Learning Objectives
    • Pre-Assessment
    • Vocabulary is at the Center of Learning
    • Explicit Vocabulary Instruction
    • Specific Word Instruction
    • Developing a Plan for Teaching New Words
    • Teaching New Words Contextualized in Reading
    • Introducing New Words
    • Introducing the Meanings of New Words
    • Illustrating Vocabulary with Examples 
    • Checking for Understanding
    • Engaging Actively with New Words
    • Summing it Up
    • Post-Assessment
How to use this Module

Module Description

This module presents vocabulary instruction as a method to improve early literacy. You will learn how to directly and explicitly teach target vocabulary words within the context of reading stories and familiar situations. 

In this module, the following topics are discussed in text, linked resources, and embedded audio and videos:

  • Vocabulary and its impact on academic success
  • Specific Word Instruction
  • Selecting words to teach
  • Conveying a word’s meaning
  • Engaging actively with words
  • Educator and expert perspectives on vocabulary instruction

The content of this module is designed to assist all educators, including regular education teachers and related service providers, to help students understand what they are reading, enhance their reading efficacy, and increase their enjoyment of reading.

The module aligns with Recommendation #1: Provide Explicit Vocabulary Instruction in the Institute of Educational Sciences (IES) Practice Guide – Improving Adolescent Literacy: Effective Classroom and Intervention Practices.

Helpful Resources Related to this Module:

Module Resources

An outline of the module’s main content and supporting resources.

Welcome & Navigation

Step-by-step guide to assist you in navigating the professional learning modules. 

Ohio Literacy Library

In-depth information about the purpose and key elements of the Ohio Literacy Library.

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