vocabulary gap

The Problem with Teaching Sophisticated Vocabulary

Should the title be ‘sophisticated vocabulary’, or could it be more simply ‘fancy words’? Small but significant language choices like these occur repeatedly in classrooms – and in pupils’ minds – daily. Teaching pupils to use sophisticated vocabulary can go wrong but it is a necessary bump in the road of pupils’ language development. We …

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Three Pillars of Vocabulary Teaching

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that vocabulary knowledge is crucial for pupils’ school success. Pupils are language sponges, learning thousands of words each year. Like increases in a child’s height, it is a slow but inexorable development. On a daily basis it is near-imperceptible, but when you begin to count the passing of school …

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‘We Did Vocabulary Last Year’

“We did vocabulary last year.” I have the privilege to speak to lots of teachers and school leaders about vocabulary, accessing the school curriculum, along with the challenges of making a difference in helping develop the academic language of our pupils.  There is a natural trajectory I note, whereat schools recognise it is a challenge …

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