Vocabulary Instruction for Language Learners – Word Connections

For language learners, the importance of vocabulary instruction before, during, and after reading complex texts for increasing students’ reading comprehension cannot be overemphasized (Boyles, 2012; Mudambi, 2013 & 2015). There are five major components of vocabulary instruction: Word Connections, Significance, Context Clues, A Word Rich Environment, and Evaluations.  In this post, we will discuss Word Connections.

Word Connections

Word Connections refers to relating words to other words, images, or ideas.  Word Connections is based on the Bruner’s Theory of Constructivism, which states that learners learn best by connecting what they know to what they already know.  Strategies for teaching word connections include (but are not limited to) :

1. Using graphic organizers such as GOICs and semantic webs.

2. Having students label pictures.

3. Learning roots and affixes and relating words to them

4. Learning words thematically.  For example, teaching grade level/language proficiency appropriate words for various emotions together.

5. Having students learn synonyms and antonyms

6. Having students use the keyword approach.  For the keyword approach, students draw images that connect words to a phonologically similar word while portraying the meaning.  Students create a sentence that ties the image, words, and meaning together.

How are you incorporating word connections into your own classroom practices?

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