Introduction to Recommendation 2

>>JOAN MORRIS: Recommendation 2. Recommendation 2 addresses integrating vocabulary
instruction, as well as other literacy tools, into your content-area teaching. In this way, your students can build both
their speaking and writing abilities as they are learning subject matter. Again, as we saw in Recommendation 1, the
level of evidence based on research for Recommendation 2 is strong. The practice guide provides four How-to steps
to help you carry out this recommendation. How-to Step 1 covers using visual aids, such
as pictures, graphic organizers, or short video clips, to help students make sense of
the topic you are teaching. These instructional tools can be used to prepare
students for a lesson by providing them with necessary background knowledge, raising issues,
and/or conveying themes that will be pursued in the lesson.

Exhibit 2.1 describes how a video clip is
used to strengthen comprehension in a lesson on Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Graphic organizers are tools that both teachers
and students can use to help organize their thinking. These organizers help students study the structure
of the text, which in turn increases their comprehension. Some of the most common text structures are
sequencing, compare and contrast, and cause and effect. A number of different types of graphic organizers
can be used to teach these structures. Exhibit 2.2 is an example of a lesson on the
environment's effects on animal behavior. It shows how content is supported through
the use of a video clip followed by a Venn diagram and then a cause-and-effect graphic
organizer. The importance of vocabulary instruction cannot
be overemphasized. As you know, Recommendation 1 was devoted
to this topic. Now, in Recommendation 2, How-to Step 2 stresses
the importance of teaching vocabulary to English learners during content instruction.

General academic vocabulary words, such as
environment, factor, exhibit, and investigate, are used in writing across many academic disciplines. Domain-specific academic vocabulary words
are unique to a particular academic discipline. Words like pi and commutative are linked to
mathematics. Words like diode and atom are linked to physics. Both general academic words and content-specific
vocabulary should be taught explicitly. An example of a domain-specific word in science
is photosynthesis. The general academic words that you may need
to teach in order to clarify the meaning of photosynthesis might include process or convert. As educators, your judgment is crucial in
determining which vocabulary words are conceptually central to the text. It may be that you determine words other than
those the publisher has recommended are important for comprehending the text. So, by all means, please include those words
in your explicit vocabulary instruction. Exhibit 2.4 is an example of Ms. Prinz's thought
processes in deciding which words should be explicitly taught within a history text. She considers words that were taught previously,
words that can be understood from context clues, and words that she can briefly teach
through body language or gestures.

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