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Although middle and high school English teachers often think of themselves as literature experts, and are trained mainly in the methods of teaching literature, they also are most often the ones who are charged with general language development. In the Common Core ELA standards, there are four separate charges related to vocabulary instruction (National Governors Association, 2010) for English teachers. In addition, there have been several reports published emphasizing the importance of vocabulary instruction at the secondary level (Carnegie Council, 2010; Heller & Greenfield, 2007; Kamil et al, 2008; National Institute of Literacy, 2007). The rationale for this vocabulary development push is that without deep word knowledge it is difficult for all students to comprehend the complex texts they are asked to read to achieve success in school and beyond (Anderson & Freebody, 1981; Anderson & Nagy, 1991; Baker, Simmons, & Kame'enui, 1998; Beck, Perfetti, & McKeown, 1982; Cromley & Azevedo, 2007; Joshi, 2007; McKeown, Beck, Omanson, & Pople, 1985; Stahl & Fairbanks, 1986; Stahl, Hare, Sinatra & Gregory, 1991). However, despite the demands on English teachers to develop language and teach vocabulary outside their content area, little is known about how much of this they actually do and the training they receive to do it.

Literature Review

Vocabulary Acquisition

Much of our vocabulary knowledge is believed to be acquired incidentally through conversation, reading, and exposure to media. Ideally, students acquire new words in this way at a rate of 2,000 to 3,500 a year; so that by the time they reach high school graduation, they know the meaning of approximately 40,000 words (Graves, 2006; Lehr, Osborn & Hiebert, 2004; Nagy & Anderson, 1984; Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, 2008). However, for various reasons, not all students acquire this number of words (Baumann, & Kameenui, 1991; Beck & McKeown, 1991; Biemiller, 2005; Graves, 1986).

Some researchers argue that reading volume, rather than oral language, is the prime contributor to individual differences in children's vocabularies (Hayes, 1988; Hayes & Ahrens, 1988; Nagy & Anderson, 1984; Nagy & Herman, 1987; Stanovich, 1986). Outside of school reading has been found to be the best predictor of vocabulary growth between second and fifth grades (Fielding, Wilson & Anderson, 1986). Yet, after elementary school, it is less likely that students receive the same level of exposure to words through outside reading, especially given the amount of time they spend on their digital devices and other activities. As students age, adults are often no longer reading to them and are not explaining the meanings of unknown words. And students spend less time reading on their own as they age. In a biennial study of reading among 6-to-17-year-olds, the number of participants reported reading for fun five to seven times a week drops from 47% among 6-to-8-year-olds to 27% among 12-to-14-year-olds and to 17% among 15-to-17-year-olds (Scholastic, 2016). The other problem is that even when secondary students do engage in outside reading, they typically do not choose challenging text that might offer them exposure to more unknown words (Topping, 2018).

Framework for a Comprehensive Vocabulary Curriculum

Through meta-analyses (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 2000; Stahl & Fairbanks, 1986;) and other syntheses of research (Graves, 2016; Honig, Diamond, Gutlohn, Cole, 2008;), a framework for effective vocabulary instruction for students at all grade levels has emerged given that teachers cannot rely on simple exposure and reading to increase students' vocabularies. This framework includes three parts: (a) teaching the meanings of individual words; (b) teaching word-learning strategies; (c) and fostering word consciousness.

Individual Words. A comprehensive vocabulary program should explicitly teach the meanings of words to students. But which of the roughly one million words in the English language should teachers select for instruction? The most widely embraced method of teaching vocabulary words relies on categorizing words into tiers (Graves, 2008; Hiebert, 2005) and has been shown to be effective for students from kindergarten (Beck et. al, 2007) to fourth grade (Beck et al., 1982). In this approach, teachers select words that are used by "mature language users" and because they are of "high utility," that is they are found in a variety of domains in written texts. These high-utility words are called "Tier II words" and examples include myriad and capitalize, as well as academic vocabulary such as analyze. Tier I words are those basic words such as clock and baby that do not typically require instruction because they are not nuanced and most English-speaking students have already acquired them. Tier III words are those belonging to a specific domain such as music, biology or sports and appear rarely in general reading (think mitochondria or anaerobic). These words are best taught in the context of studying those domains. Even though this tiered method of selecting words has not been researched with adolescent students, the College Board and others (Graves, 2018; National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, 2010) have adopted this word-selection approach and recommend it to secondary teachers, describing it as a "sensible idea" ("College Readiness," 2010).

Despite this growing consensus on a tiered approach to word selection, there is no clear consensus as to the number of words teachers should explicitly teach to students to significantly affect their vocabulary knowledge and, perhaps, ultimately, their general reading comprehension. Stahl (1999) gave some guidance when he suggested that it is possible for teachers to provide explicit instruction of 300 to 500 words each school year (about 8 to 10 words per week; 50 weeks a year). He argued that students only really "know" words when they understand them in various contexts. Anderson and Nagy (1993) claimed that to know a word, you need to understand its connotations and different shades of meaning depending on the context so that it can be used correctly. For students to actually add words to their productive vocabularies (speaking and writing), they need multiple exposures, typically 12 to 14, to words across a variety of contexts (Beck et al., 2002; Graves, 2006; Stahl & Nagy, 2006). When students are at high risk for reading difficulties, they may require even more exposures.

Anyone who has gone through high school, remembers English teachers selecting "difficult words" for students and then assigning them dictionary definition work to learn their meanings. However, when teaching words, reading experts recommend that teachers first expose students to new words in the context of the texts they are reading. The students should have access to "student-friendly" definitions of the words (that are written in plain language) rather than those found in dictionaries because such definitions can be confusing and incomprehensible to them. Students and teachers can then work with these student-friendly definitions by associating them with pictures, rewriting them, studying familiar synonyms and antonyms, considering examples and non-examples, discussing the differences between the new words and related words, creating new sentences, putting them on word walls and so on (Beck, 2013; Graves, 2016; Stahl, 1999).

One example of a specific study method is the Frayer Model in which students use a graphic organizer to generate examples and non-examples, provide characteristics and draw pictures that represent the meanings of the target words (Frayer, Frederick & Klausmeier, 1969). Other methods are the Foursquare that has students provide a definition, a sentence with the words, synonyms and antonyms and a picture (Stahl & Kapinus, 2001) and Semantic Feature Analysis in which students relate words to content topics (Anders & Bos, 1986). The most important goal is to provide the students with practice and multiple exposures to the words in various ways and contexts (Kamil et al., 2008; Stahl, 1999).

Word-Learning Strategies. The next part of the recommended comprehensive vocabulary program is to teach strategies to help students become independent word learners (Buikema & Graves, 1993; Carlisle, 2003, 2004; NICHD, 2000; Tomesen & Aarnoutse, 1998). Contextual analysis is one of the strategies widely recommended at the third-grade level and above (Blachowicz & Fisher, 2000; Lehr, Osborn, & Hiebert, 2004). To figure out the meanings of unknown words on their own, students should have both procedural and conditional knowledge about words (Dole, Sloan & Trathen, 1995; Nagy, Herman, & Anderson, 1985; Stahl & Fairbanks, 1986). Procedural knowledge about words refers to the skill of using context to figure out the meaning of unknown words (Stahl & Fairbanks, 1986). Conditional knowledge is about understanding why they are learning words and how they are important to their context (what they are reading in class) (Beck & McKeown, 1991). Another strategy is to teach students about morphology including roots and affixes that can be helpful in figuring out word meanings (Carlisle, 2004). Finally, teachers should instruct students about how to independently use resources such as dictionaries and thesauruses. For EL students, instruction in how to make use of cognates also is recommended.

Word Consciousness: The final component of a comprehensive vocabulary instructional program is the fostering an awareness of and an appreciation for words through games, rhyming, idiomatic expressions and so on because students with strong "word consciousness" may be more eager to learn new words (Anderson & Nagy, 1992; Blachowicz & Fisher, 2004; Graves & Watts-Taffe, 2008; Nagy, 2007; Scott & Nagy, 2004; Stahl & Nagy, 2006). For example, teachers can have students play Taboo, Scrabble and vocabulary word bingo for fun. Ultimately, the goal is to enable students to investigate and learn the meanings of unknown words--and to use these words in their speech and writing--unprompted and unaided by teachers.

Teachers' Vocabulary Instructional Practices

The research into how teachers provide vocabulary instruction is limited. There are five observational research studies that examined elementary teacher instruction; taken together, they indicate a low emphasis on the teaching of the meanings of individual words (Nelson, Dole, Hosp & Hosp, 2014; Scott, Jamieson, & Asselin, 2003; Blachovicz, 1987; Watts, 1985; Durkin 1978-1979). Only one of these elementary-level studies considered whether teachers provided training in word-learning strategies or word consciousness. That study looked at K-3 teacher instruction and found little evidence of this type of instruction (Nelson, et al., 2014). At the secondary level, three studies in the area of content literacy (Cantrell, Burns & Callaway, 2009; Hall, 2009; Harmon & Hedrick, 2005) and just one study that specifically examined secondary English teachers' vocabulary instruction exists. For that recent study (Swanson, et. al, 2016), researchers conducted 137 observations of 11 social studies and 9 language arts teachers' comprehension and vocabulary instruction over the course of one academic year. They observed vocabulary instruction in 67.3% of the ELA classrooms and determined they were mostly still using the traditional presentation of definition work (55.2%) as their preferred instructional method. The researchers did not study the number or type of words the teachers selected to teach. The word learning strategy of using morphology was observed in 19.3% of observed language arts classes; context clue instruction was observed in 12.3%.

Professional Development Research

There is a large body of research on teacher professional develop with some indicating that teachers can change their practices and positively impact student learning (Darling-Hamond, Hyler & Gardner, 2017; Garet, Porter, Desimone, Birman & Yoon, 2001; Kennedy, 2016; Wei, Darling-Hammond, Andree, Richardson & Orphanos, 2009; Yoon, Duncan, Lee, Scarloss & Shapley, 2007). In the Yoon et al. (2007) study, the results showed that while more than 14 hours of sustained professional learning impacted student learning, five to 14 hours showed no effect on student learning. There has been no research specifically examining English teachers training in vocabulary instruction and the impact on their practices. However, there is interview and self-report data research demonstrating that, with professional development, secondary teachers can see themselves as both literacy and content area teachers (Cantrell, Burns, & Calloway, 2009).

Purpose of this Study

Given the need for additional research, this study will look at whether English teachers' perceptions about their vocabulary instruction align with recommended best practices, especially related to the types and quantities of words selected. It also will provide new information regarding the professional development they receive and its impact on their beliefs. Specifically, we asked these questions: Do secondary English teachers implement recommended best practices for vocabulary instruction? How much professional development do they receive after their teacher training programs and how do they rate its quality? How does the training they receive impact their practices? We hope that findings from this study can inform professional development.


The instrument used in this study was an online survey created using the SurveyMonkey software available on line that included multiple-choice and open-ended response questions for collecting demographic information related to the research questions. Survey questions were piloted with teachers outside the states from which final participants were selected, since this survey did not use previously-used survey questions. These pilot responses were analyzed, and where appropriate, the wording and ordering of questions were revised and refined. The survey was organized into three parts. The first part required participants to answer demographic questions. The second part asked participants to respond to questions about their knowledge regarding vocabulary acquisition and instruction. The final part asked questions related to their instructional practices in the classroom.

A convenience sample of public school language arts and English teachers (7-12) in the two states where the researchers had taught and trained teachers, Massachusetts and Utah, were surveyed. It was believed that these two states shared a common set of English Language Arts standards because of the Common Core, but likely had teachers who had not been trained in the same institutions. Together, they could represent some of the variety of beliefs and vocabulary instructional methods employed in the United States. In both states, teachers were identified from culling faculty email addresses available publicly on school websites. All attempts were made to ensure that teachers from rural, suburban, and urban districts were represented in the sample. A total of 2,933 participants were sent the survey that remained open for two months. After the initial email requests were sent, two reminder emails were sent. A random drawing for three $50 bookstore gift cards were offered as incentives. From that 2933, 649 surveys were returned for an overall return rate of 22%; thirty-eight percent of the respondents were from Massachusetts and 62% from Utah.

Survey responses were divided into two categories for analysis: multiple-choice and short response. Multiple-choice responses were gathered within the SurveyMonkey software which automatically generated statistics on the frequency of each response type. Chi-square analysis was conducted to examine whether there were correlations between the numbers of words teachers selected and the impact training had on teachers' reported practices in terms of methods. Short-answer responses were analyzed using the constant-comparative method (Charmaz, 2006). Researchers began by first reading all of the responses and looking for common themes and patterns. Codes were then developed from these themes and patterns, and responses were reread and coded.


Of the 649 secondary English teachers in Massachusetts and Utah who responded to the demographic questions in the survey, 14% of them identified as teaching in urban districts; 72% in suburban; and 14% in rural. More indicated that they taught high school (56%) than junior high (41%); 4% said they taught both. When asked about racial composition, 9% described their schools as diverse (more than 65% non-white); 27% as somewhat (between 35% and 65%) and 65% as not diverse (less than 35% non-white). Twenty percent identified their schools as Title 1; 64% as not Title 1; and 16% said they did not know. In terms of size, 8% had fewer than 500 students; 34% had from 501 to 1000; 42% had from 1001- 2000; 14% had from 2001-3000; and 1 % had more than 3001.


To understand teachers' education and knowledge regarding vocabulary instruction, several questions related to coursework and professional development on vocabulary were asked. In this section, first we report results about teachers' perceptions of their vocabulary instruction in their classrooms. Then, we report the results related to training and its impact on teachers' beliefs and reported practices.

Selecting Words

When asked from where they selected the words they teach students, 91.3% of the participants reported that they select words from readings (novels, short stories and anthologies combined). In addition, 44.6% teach words related to English terminology; 35.8% select words from provided academic word lists; 29.5% let students self-select words to study; 23.85% choose words from other content areas (Tier III) words; 22.5% use ACT/SAT wordlists and 17.0% reported Other.

Participants were asked to provide their rationales for how and why they selected words from a novel. The categories of their responses were created using the participants' own language. Forty-two percent said they selected words they felt were important to students' comprehension of the whole-class novel. One participant, for example, wrote, "The chosen words were integral for understanding the novel but were uncommon in modern everyday use." Another wrote, "They are crucial to plot or character development." And another wrote, "Most of them were found in passages that highlighted particular themes we studied." The second largest category of responses, although well below the first at only 16%, included participants who select words for instruction because these words are unknown or difficult. One said, for example, "I chose words that I don't believe students had been exposed to." Another said she chose words with which students "struggled" and another "words they might not know."

Participants were then asked to characterize the words they select according to the Beck et al. (2002) framework of dividing words into three tiers. The majority (79.7%) of participants described the words they select as Tier II words of mature language users. Few (2.3%) reported teaching Tier I words and some (13.3%) reported teaching Tier III words; 1.2% reported they did not know and 3.5% reported Other.

Participants also were asked whether they teach the same words to everyone in their classes or differentiate the word list depending on the students in the classroom. Roughly a third answered yes (36.3%); a third answered no (32.98%) and another third answered sometimes (30.7%). Teachers also were provided scenario questions. When asked how they would approach teaching the word "mysterious" (a Tier II word) in a 7th-grade class with 35% Spanish speakers, 50.9% said they would show a picture of something and 48.9% said they would provide a cognate. When asked about teaching the word "shamrock" (a Tier I word) to an ELL student, 90% said they would provide a picture.

Number of Words

In one general question, participants were asked how many words they introduce to students on average in a given week. The largest group, 42.1%, reported that they taught five or fewer words; 24.8% taught six to 10; 12.1% taught 11-15; 5.7% reported more than 16; and 5.7% reported not teaching new words and 9.6% reported Other. Given that most English teachers teach from novels, participants were asked in another question, to consider the most recent novel they had taught and indicate not only how many pages were in this novel, but how many words they selected from the novel to teach. The largest percentage of participants (45.4%) reported that the most recent novel they taught was 201-300 pages in length. Participants reported teaching from zero to 50 words. The majority (55.0%) reported selecting fewer than 20 words in total for the entire novel.

Methods of Teaching Individual Words

Teachers were asked to select from a list of instructional methods that included ways to teach individual words. Some of these instructional methods are not recommended best practices but rather are traditional methods that teachers have used (i.e., copying dictionary definitions). Participants selected whether they use these vocabulary instructional practices daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or never. They mostly reported providing student-friendly definitions and teacher modeling on a daily basis. Overall, participants shared that they used most of the instructional practices on a weekly basis. These practices included: providing dictionary definitions, providing synonyms and antonyms, providing examples and non-examples, having students generate sentences using the selected word(s), drawing pictures, providing multiple meanings and contexts, read-alouds with discussions of word meanings, and reviewing previously learned words. (See Table 1).

Methods of Teaching Word-Learning Strategies

Participants selected whetherthey taught six types of word-learning strategies daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or never. These were context clues; cloze-procedure; self-questioning; morphology; student/personal word journals; and how to use dictionaries. Of the two most recommended by researchers, teachers reported teaching context clues 24.4% daily; 44.3% weekly, and 18.8% monthly. For morphology, 10.1% reported doing so daily; 25.6% weekly, and 24.4% monthly.

Methods of Teaching Word-Consciousness

For word-consciousness, participants selected among four methods: word play (puns, jokes, riddles; online games; traditional games such as Taboo and Balderdash; and studying figures of speech, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or never. The number who reported playing any type of games was low. The highest number reported teaching figures of speech with 16% daily; 31.6% weekly; and 31.0% monthly. The second highest number reported word play with 11.1% daily; 25.8% weekly and 25.8% monthly.

Methods of Assessment

Participants were asked to choose from among 10 types of assessment methods: matching, student self-assessment, multiple choice, word maps/webs, cloze procedure, use in writing, use in speech, true/false, computer generated, definition/explanation always, sometimes, or never. The highest numbers for the always answer were: use in writing (38.6%); providing definitions/explanations (24.5%) and use in speech (24.0%).

Impact of Professional Development on Vocabulary Instruction

Regarding vocabulary training, 22.5% said that received more than 8 hours; the majority of teachers (51.4%) had received less than 8 hours and 26.2% said they received none. In terms of the quality of this professional development training, 39.3% rated it weak; 54.3%, moderate; and 6.4%, high. When asked how they would rate their level of knowledge about vocabulary instruction, 15.5% said weak; 62.9% said moderate and 21.5% said high.

From the Chi-Square testing, there was no significant relationship between the number of words participants selected and the amount of instruction they reported receiving. When analyzing instructional methods, participants with less than 8 hours or no training were combined for comparison with greater than 8 hours of training because there were only four activities for which less than 8 hours of training was significantly associated with greater use than for those with no training. Participants with more than eight hours of training, were more likely to provide 29 (of 43) types of instruction as compared to those who had less than 8 hours or no training (Tables 2 and 3).

Among the biggest increases in individual word instruction activities for participants with greater than 8 hours of training were found for Semantic Feature Analysis, which was employed twice as frequently on a daily/weekly or monthly/quarterly basis, the Frayer Model and the Four-Square method, which were used about three times more often monthly/quarterly (Table 2). The frequency of teaching the word-leaning strategy of morphology nearly doubled with more than 8 hours of training with an equivalent decrease in those that never used it (Table 2).

Furthermore, use of word maps or webs for individual word assessment was much higher for teachers with greater than 8 hours of training at 56.4% daily/weekly versus 27.5% for teachers with less training (Table 3).


In this study, secondary English teachers indicated that they selected words mainly (91.3%) from student readings (novels, short stories, anthologies). In addition, these teachers characterized the words they select for instruction to be those used by mature readers and have nuanced meanings (high-utility), what would be defined as Tier II words. Overall, teachers seem to be selecting words according to recommended best practices (see Beck et al., and Graves, etc.). This result could mean that teachers are preparing students for the types of words that the standardized test makers, such as the ACT and SAT, claim are included in their tests.

However, there is some doubt as to whether teachers are actually using a tiered approach to selecting words. When asked to provide an explanation for how they select words, the most popular response in the open-ended question was that they chose words "necessary for comprehension of the novel." These results may mean they are selecting rare words (Tier III) rather than high utility words that mature readers, the Tier II words, should know and use as they claimed in another question; or perhaps their answers indicated a misunderstanding about the definition of a Tier II word. It is difficult to say for sure what teachers mean by "necessary" words since they could be of high utility, rare, or even common words depending on the teacher's perspective. If these words are indeed critical for comprehending a text, perhaps this result makes some sense. However, the result could indicate that teachers are spending valuable instructional time on words that can and should be taught in other contexts or should be briefly defined but not studied.

Finally, it appears that teachers are not differentiating the words they teach and are not including instruction in Tier I words for EL students in their courses. They are utilizing a one-size-fits-all approach to selecting words for students.

In terms of the number of vocabulary words taught, teachers may not be selecting enough words. If the largest number say they are teaching five or fewer words per week, and a typical novel takes four to six weeks to complete, that would mean teachers might be teaching as few as four and at most 36 words for each novel. When asked specifically how many words they do teach from novels, about 55% actually reported teaching fewer than 20 words. Does this indicate that the novels teachers select are too easy to be used as a whole-class novel or that they are not choosing enough words? Considering Stahl's (1999) suggestion that teachers could teach as many as 10 a week to ensure adequate vocabulary growth, they are clearly well below this threshold.

Additionally, while teachers seem to spend time teaching students the individual meanings of words, they devote little instructional time to teaching word learning strategies and fostering word consciousness. So, while students may be able to provide the meaning of isolated words, they are not being prepared to engage with and learn word meanings independently.

Teachers also may not be teaching vocabulary with enough intensity and urgency. As described in the Swanson et al. (2016) paper, teachers surveyed for this study spend much of their time providing teacher-directed activities such as giving definitions and synonyms, instead of student directed activities such as personal dictionaries and journals. The important question of whether teachers are providing the needed number of exposures in multiple contexts for students to really "know" a word is unclear. But if teachers really valued vocabulary instruction enough for students to deeply know the multiple meanings of at least 10 different words a week, it would seem likely they would need to spend time on it every day. According to this survey, a majority of teachers do not. Possible explanations for this lack of teaching are that they are not receiving adequate training and/or do not have the time given competing demands.

On the bright side, teachers who reported having more than 8 hours of training were more likely to provide instruction using some of the instructional procedures that are among those recommended for students to learn the meanings of words to the point where they can use them independently and understand their use in different contexts. Teachers who had this level of training also were more likely to provide a variety of types of assessment including asking them to demonstrate knowledge through speech and in their writing.


Survey answers are self-report data that rely on the idea that participants are revealing their actual beliefs and practices. Of course, there is always some doubt associated with this assumption. In addition, the sample consisted of teachers from just two states that were chosen based on convenience. Although every attempt was made to get a representative sample of urban, suburban, and rural teachers, in the end, the largest response was from suburban teachers.


In general, it appears that secondary English teachers would benefit from additional training in vocabulary instruction. For sure, they need to be taught the importance of teaching word-learning strategies because students may not have acquired them in earlier grades as expected. It only makes sense for teachers at the secondary level to concentrate on word-learning strategies since the texts their students are typically asked to read are more complex in terms of word choice. They also are more likely to provide enough context to be able to use the strategies effectively.

They also need training in how to select high utility words and how many to teach. Given that teachers on the whole are selecting words from the literature they teach, it would appear they should increase the number of words they select for instruction. It might also mean that teachers should be teaching more informational text as outlined in the Common Core standards and selecting words in these readings as well. The results also indicate that more or better training is needed in the importance of providing multiple contexts for students to be exposed to words and providing word consciousness instruction in general.

Teachers should consider working in collaboration with other teachers to determine the approach for selecting words that is most appropriate for their students and for figuring out how to make vocabulary instruction more fluid. If, for example, they are teaching students who lag behind in language development, they should explore including the teaching of words that appear to be basic, especially those words that have more than one meaning, such as "bark." If they are working with students who are extensive readers or who just generally have highly sophisticated language ability, they can perhaps select more words to teach or spend more time on unusual and even rare words rather than only Tier II words. Finally, it appears that secondary teachers would benefit from someone lighting a fire beneath their feet as to the importance and urgency of providing some form of vocabulary instruction every day given that research has shown the teachers before them are not dedicating much time to it either.


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Simmons University


University of Utah
Table 1. Reported individual word instruction frequency

Individual Words                             Never   Daily   Weekly

Providing multiple meanings                   1.00%  21.23%  44.60%
Providing student-friendly definitions        1.40%  41.30%  42.10%
Using synonyms                                1.60%  32.00%  46.20%
Modeling word usage                           2.75%  34.40%  43.00%
Providing multiple contexts                   4.30%  20.10%  44.60%
Using Internet-pictures, videos, multimedia   4.40%  10.80%  28.60%
Using cognates                                5.00%  13.60%  28.00%
Providing examples and non-examples           6.00%  25.40%  42.00%
Generating sentences with words               6.10%  17.10%  45.87%
Reviewing previously used words               6.90%  10.50%  35.30%
Using antonyms                                8.90%  18.80%  41.00%
Providing dictionary definitions             11.40%   9.80%  41.70%
Reading aloud with discussion                12.10%  20.70%  38.20%
Word sorts                                   12.50%   0.80%   4.90%
Using Frayer Model                           16.70%   1.60%   5.30%
Drawing pictures                             18.50%   8.00%  29.00%
Acting out meanings                          36.40%   4.60%  16.30%
Using flashcards                             46.70%   2.80%  17.10%
Using personal dictionaries or journals      50.50%   6..0%  15.20%
Generating teacher word walls                54.80%   3.40%  11.40%
Word maps/webs                               55.50%   1.40%   9.50%
Using Semantic Feature Analysis              58.90%   1.40%   7.40%
Generating student word walls                59.40%   2.80%  11.20%
Copying dictionary definitions               60.00%   1.00%  14.20%
Using Four Square                            61.90%   1.40%   5.70%
Solving crossword puzzles                    62.70%   1.20%   4.80%
Playing Bingo                                70.90%   0.40%   2.60%

Individual Words                             Monthly  Quarterly

Providing multiple meanings                  21.80%    6.80%
Providing student-friendly definitions       11.40%    2.70%
Using synonyms                               14.23%    4.87%
Modeling word usage                          15.10%    3.70%
Providing multiple contexts                  22.00%    6.10%
Using Internet-pictures, videos, multimedia  26.00%   12.80%
Using cognates                               20.40%   11.80%
Providing examples and non-examples          18.00%    6.00%
Generating sentences with words              22.24%    7.10%
Reviewing previously used words              30.50%   15.25%
Using antonyms                               20.20%    8.90%
Providing dictionary definitions             24.60%   10.60%
Reading aloud with discussion                17.70%    7.40%
Word sorts                                   10.20%   61.60%
Using Frayer Model                            9.50%   59.60%
Drawing pictures                             26.00%   14.30%
Acting out meanings                          21.30%   16.50%
Using flashcards                             16.10%   12.10%
Using personal dictionaries or journals      10.00%   11.40%
Generating teacher word walls                10.20%   12.80%
Word maps/webs                               15.10%   13.30%
Using Semantic Feature Analysis               9.70%    8.60%
Generating student word walls                 7.20%   12.40%
Copying dictionary definitions                9.10%   11.20%
Using Four Square                             9.50%    7.00%
Solving crossword puzzles                    10.40%   14.70%
Playing Bingo                                 5.50%   12.20%

Table 2. Associations between training and individual word instruction
or word-learning strategies

                                        None/<8 h training
Instructional activity                  No. of respondents

Playing Bingo                           334
Using Frayer Model                      303
Using Four Square                       310
Word sorts                              314
Using Semantic Feature Analysis         308
Solving crossword puzzles               340
Generating student word walls           343
Word maps/webs                          343
Generating teacher word walls           339
Working on personal dictionaries or
journals                                342
Acting out meanings                     330
Using cognates                          350
Drawing pictures                        352
Reading aloud with discussion           362
Using antonyms                          363
Providing multiple meanings             367
Providing student-friendly definitions  375
Working on personal dictionaries or
journals                                334
Cloze procedure/ fill-in-the-blank
practice                                363
Morphology--Word Parts (Greek &         370
Latin roots/affixes)

                                        None/<8 h training
                                        Activity frequency (% of
Instructional activity                  respondents)
                                               Daily/  Monthly/
                                        Never  Weekly  Quarterly

Playing Bingo                           81.4    3.6    15.0
Using Frayer Model                      79.5    7.3    13.2
Using Four Square                       79.0    7.1    13.9
Word sorts                              77.1    5.4    17.5
Using Semantic Feature Analysis         74.4    8.1    17.5
Solving crossword puzzles               70.6    5.0    24.4
Generating student word walls           70.0   12.8    17.2
Word maps/webs                          67.6    9.6    22.7
Generating teacher word walls           66.4   13.6    20.1
Working on personal dictionaries or
journals                                59.6   19.0    21.3
Acting out meanings                     42.3   19.7    38.0
Using cognates                          25.4   41.7    32.9
Drawing pictures                        21.6   34.7    43.8
Reading aloud with discussion           16.0   56.9    27.1
Using antonyms                           9.9   58.7    31.4
Providing multiple meanings              5.2   63.5    31.3
Providing student-friendly definitions   1.9   81.9    16.3
Working on personal dictionaries or     66.1   17.8    16.1
Cloze procedure/ fill-in-the-blank
practice                                41.0   20.7    38.3
Morphology--Word Parts (Greek &         22.7   33.0    44.3
Latin roots/affixes)

                                        > 8 h training
                                        No. of respondents
Instructional activity

Playing Bingo                            92
Using Frayer Model                       83
Using Four Square                        90
Word sorts                               90
Using Semantic Feature Analysis          89
Solving crossword puzzles                96
Generating student word walls            96
Word maps/webs                           98
Generating teacher word walls            95
Working on personal dictionaries or
journals                                 96
Acting out meanings                      99
Using cognates                          100
Drawing pictures                        101
Reading aloud with discussion           103
Using antonyms                          102
Providing multiple meanings             104
Providing student-friendly definitions  106
Working on personal dictionaries or
journals                                102
Cloze procedure/ fill-in-the-blank
practice                                103
Morphology--Word Parts (Greek &         106
Latin roots/affixes)

                                        > 8 h training
                                        Activity frequency (% of
Instructional activity                  respondents)
                                               Daily/  Monthly/
                                        Never  Weekly  Quarterly

Playing Bingo                           63.0    3.3    33.7
Using Frayer Model                      47.0    9.6    43.4
Using Four Square                       48.9   12.2    38.9
Word sorts                              51.1   10.0    38.9
Using Semantic Feature Analysis         44.9   20.2    34.8
Solving crossword puzzles               55.2    8.3    36.5
Generating student word walls           45.8   22.9    31.3
Word maps/webs                          34.7   13.3    52.0
Generating teacher word walls           37.9   24.2    37.9
Working on personal dictionaries or
journals                                34.4   34.4    31.3
Acting out meanings                     27.3   29.3    43.4
Using cognates                          10.0   54.0    36.0
Drawing pictures                        11.9   46.5    41.6
Reading aloud with discussion            8.7   71.8    19.4
Using antonyms                           3 0   76.5    19.6
Providing multiple meanings              2.9   76.9    20.2
Providing student-friendly definitions   0.0   93.4     6.6
Working on personal dictionaries or     35.3   32.4    32.4
Cloze procedure/ fill-in-the-blank
practice                                19.4   27.2    53.4
Morphology--Word Parts (Greek &          9.4   51.9    38.7
Latin roots/affixes)

                                        [chi square]
Instructional activity

Playing Bingo                           16.5 (***)
Using Frayer Model                      40.1 (***)
Using Four Square                       33 4 (***)
Word sorts                              23.2 (***)
Using Semantic Feature Analysis         27.8 (***)
Solving crossword puzzles                8.1 (*)
Generating student word walls           19.1( ***)
Word maps/webs                          37.1 (***)
Generating teacher word walls           25.1 (***)
Working on personal dictionaries or
journals                                19.9 (***)
Acting out meanings                      8.3 (*)
Using cognates                          11.3 (**)
Drawing pictures                         6.9 (*)
Reading aloud with discussion            7.8 (*)
Using antonyms                          11.2 (**)
Providing multiple meanings              6.6 (*)
Providing student-friendly definitions   8.7 (*)
Working on personal dictionaries or
journals                                31.3 (***)
Cloze procedure/ fill-in-the-blank
practice                                16.3 (***)
Morphology--Word Parts (Greek &         15.9 (***)
Latin roots/affixes)

Degrees of freedom = 2 for each teaching activity versus extent of
training. (*) p<0.05. (**) p<0.01, (***) p<0.001 for [chi square]

Table 3. Associations between extent of training and individual word

                                 None / < 8 h training
Instructional activity                       Activity frequency (% of
                                 No. of
                                 respondents  Never  Sometimes  Always

Words Maps / Webs                351          69.5   27.4        3.1
True / False questions           365          61.4   35.3        3.3
Computer-generated test or quiz  362          60.2   34.3        5.5
Cloze Procedure
/ Fill-in-the-blank              366          33.3   51.4       15.3
Student self-assessment          365          33.2   55.6       11.2
Matching                         364          31.0   56.9       12.1
Use of words in student speech   371          27.2   52.8       19.9
Multiple choice                  370          23.8   63.0       13.2
Use of words in student writing  374          12.0   51.9       36.1

                                 > 8 h training
Instructional activity           No. of respondents

Words Maps / Webs                101
True / False questions           102
Computer-generated test or quiz  101
Cloze Procedure
/ Fill-in-the-blank              104
Student self-assessment          105
Matching                         105
Use of words in student speech   106
Multiple choice                  105
Use of words in student writing  106

                                 > 8 h training
Instructional activity           Activity frequency (% of  [chi square]
                                 Never  Sometimes  Always

Words Maps / Webs                36.6   56.4        6.9    36.1 (***)
True / False questions           49.0   49.0        2.0     6.4 (*)
Computer-generated test or quiz  36.6   57.4        5.9    18.8 (***)
Cloze Procedure
/ Fill-in-the-blank              27.9   65.4        6.7     8.1 (*)
Student self-assessment          21.9   60.0       18.1     6.7 (*)
Matching                         18.1   71.4       10.5     7.9 (*)
Use of words in student speech   12.3   52.8       34.9    15.7 (***)
Multiple choice                  10.5   74.3       15.2     8.8 (*)
Use of words in student writing   3.8   51.9       44.3     7.0 (*)

Degrees of freedom = 2 for each teaching activity versus extent of
training. (*) p<0.05, (**) p<0.01, (***) p<0.001 for [chi square]
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Author:Nelson, Kristin L.; Watkins, Naomi M.
Publication:Reading Improvement
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Sep 22, 2019

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