In the last ten years there has been a lot of research into Vocabulary and here is what I’ve learned:

  1. We should focus on tier 2 words. (Beck & McKeown, 2002)
  2. Students need multiple exposures to words they are learning. (Stahl, 2005)
  3. Instruction needs to utilize a variety of methods. (NICHD, 2000)
  4. Learning words in context sometimes requires a prior knowledge and inferential reasoning skills. (Univ. of Illinois, 2007)
  5. When teaching a class, 1/3 already know the word, 1/3 will get it, and 1/3 of students won’t get it. (Katz, 2005)
  6. Most people (65%) are good visual learners, so using multiple pictures and photographs to help students learn a word is a useful strategy.
  7. Students need to learn the words deeply and broadly, not just a quick definition in one context. (Stahl & Kapinus, 2001)
  8. In order to build vocabulary, students need to develop an interest and an awareness beyond the words. (Beck & McKeown, 2002)
  9. Using technology to learn vocabulary is effective (NICHD, 2000)