From writing essays and speaking persuasively to analyzing literature and understanding informational texts, having an extensive vocabulary is important to every element of English language arts. However, it’s often difficult to find the time to successfully teach vocabulary among so many other ELA requirements.

To make vocabulary instruction easier for both you and your students, we’ve created this free-to-download eBook, Guide to Teaching Vocabulary. Inside, you’ll find advice on how to teach vocabulary more effectively, tips on how to incorporate indirect and explicit vocabulary lessons into your lesson plans, and background information about the different methods of vocabulary instruction.

How Important is Vocabulary Instruction?

The need for strong vocabulary skills goes far beyond the English language arts classroom. Students who have difficulty deciphering words will most likely struggle in nearly every academic pursuit—from history and social studies to science and math. Those who lack the tools needed to understand what they’re reading may quickly give up and feel unmotivated to do the work necessary to succeed.

Vocabulary instruction is all about building students’ confidence in their ability to identify and comprehend new words. The most successful teachers use a variety of different approaches to teaching vocabulary, including both explicit and indirect means to help their students build language skills.

Indirect vs. Explicit Vocabulary Instruction

Indirect vocabulary instruction comes from encountering the words in context. This type of learning can be improved by teaching students the skills they need to draw their own conclusions about vocabulary, discover word meanings through root analysis, and develop strong reading comprehension abilities.

Methods of indirect vocabulary instruction include:

  • Passive Acquisition
  • Context Skills
  • Multiple Exposures

On the other hand, explicit vocabulary instruction involves setting clear goals for students and directly teaching them the meanings of targeted words through close examination.

Methods of explicit vocabulary instruction include:

  • Vocabulary from Literature
  • Root Analysis
  • Direct Vocabulary Instruction
  • Dictionary Skills
  • Word Consciousness

Take a closer look at all of these topics and more by downloading the free eBook now!