How does explicit vocabulary instruction, instruction that is teacher-directed, sustained, and implemented daily, impact the reading comprehension of English Language Learners?
Anokhi Saraiya’s article explores how explicit vocabulary instruction impacts the reading comprehension of English Language Learners in Elementary School. Because approximately 50% of Anokhi’s students are identified as English Language Learners (ELL) and because her school is in “restructuring,” Anokhi works as the Comprehensive School Reform Coordinator. Her responsibilities include professional development for teachers in the areas of assessment, standards-based planning, and instruction. It is because of her experience in this role, as well as her ELL students, that she became interested in studying the affects of vocabulary instruction on reading comprehension. Students often do not recognize, or are unwilling to admit, when they don’t understand words; nor do students possess the word attack strategies or background knowledge to figure out the meanings of words in context. Often, the only vocabulary strategy they are taught is to figure out the word in context—look at the sentence before or after to figure out the word. For ELLs, multiple words within the sentence or text are unfamiliar, making this strategy difficult, if not impossible, to use. Overall, even with intensive focus on standards-driven reading instruction, students are unable to successfully meet City and State standards as measured by the NYS English Language Arts (ELA) Exam. There is a need for some enhancement or change in instruction to better enable our students to be successful
Assessment & Preparation for Assessment
New York City
PS 8M The Luis Belliard School
465 W. 167th St.
New York, NY 10032
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