How do YOU feel about Vocabulary Acquisition?
The Morrow and Gambrell text was especially helpful this week in terms of providing a variety of strategies and methods for improving student vocabulary acquisition. The text, as well as several of the other readings this week, tout wide reading as vital to building vocabulary. By reading a wide variety of texts, readers are able to "develop a wide, flexible, and usable general vocabulary". Models and wordplay are also helpful in getting students interested in words. Teachers should model their enjoyment of words in order to get their students excited. One specific way this can be done is through wordplay. The use of puzzles, puns, and "Hinky Pinkies" are fun ways to get students interested in vocabulary. In my experience, jokes have also been a big hit! Technology integration can also be helpful in vocabulary acquisition. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of wordplay apps that would be especially fun for use with students. One that I favor is called "7 Little Words" (Available in the iTunes Store). In the game, you are presented with 7 definitions. You need to use a variety of word chunks to form the 7 mystery words. It sounds simple, but it can be very tricky as the words used are not especially common. I enjoy playing it as a time-waster, but it would be a fun activity to use in the classroom as well. Memes are also a fun way to interest students in word play and vocabulary. They typically rely on puns and homophones and are often very clever. There are lots of meme generators online so having the students create their own memes for new vocabulary would be fun. This one of my favorites: