Building Comprehension Through Explicit and Organic Vocabulary Instruction for English Learners
Keywords:reading comprehension, vocabulary instruction, English learners
This article closely examines the relationship between vocabulary acquisition and reading comprehension, specifically for English learners. The authors first set out to identify the relationship between vocabulary knowledge and comprehension. Research-based instructional strategies are then described with discussion centering on how these strategies specifically benefit English learners. Central to the thesis is that a reader must be able to decode words and assign meaning to those words with little to no effort to fully engage in and comprehend any type of text. Due to the language barrier, some English learners have a particularly difficult time decoding and assigning meaning to words. The research presented here supports the integration of reading strategies that can be used to build English learners’ reading comprehension, both explicit vocabulary instruction combined with organic, student-centered language learning. Some of the strategies discussed include daily interactive read aloud, audio recordings of students reading, whole group shared reading experiences, and direct and explicit vocabulary instruction.