Revitalizing Word Walls for High School English Learners: Conventional and Digital Opportunities for Learning New Words
Keywords:word walls, high school, English learners, engagement, language proficiency
To achieve language proficiency, older English learners face the challenge of simultaneously acquiring the academic language of school while building the vocabulary base of a mature readers and language users--that is, high frequency words found in a variety of texts and known by proficient readers. One particularly useful classroom tool that supports vocabulary learning is the word wall. While traditionally associated with primary and elementary classrooms, the word wall, if implemented appropriately, may potentially aid the vocabulary development of English learners. In this study, we compared the use of digital word walls to two research-based interactive word wall formats with high school English learners. While we found no differences in word-meaning acquisition, the level of engagement was higher when students participated in the digital word wall format where they developed vocabulary vodcasts using Photostory. All three interactive word wall instructional techniques are described in this article.