Summary of Secondary Students with Learning Disabilities in Reading: Vocabulary Development
Vocabulary is an important building tool of a child’s reading skills. Students have to understand what the words mean in order to comprehend the story as it is presented to them in the classroom.
Unfortunately, that skill is rather ignored in middle school and is expected to be taught in elementary school. When those students do not grasp the concept in elementary and are pushed through to the middle school without the skill, they fall behind their classmates. With the reading skills for vocabulary lacking, these children are usually labeled with ‘learning disabilities’. All too often students read a passage and skip over the words that they do not understand. However, vocabulary skills in reading are essential to not only in the reading classroom, but in all the content area classrooms as well.
Vocabulary development should give the students the ability to learn the meaning of new words and concepts that are presented to them in their text. Learning this skill will help students with comprehension and their content area curriculum. By teaching students vocabulary development, students will have a reserve of new words, connect new words with their previous knowledge, gain the ability to understand and comprehend the text, and lastly, it will increase a students’ word knowledge to connect with their comprehension and success.
To accomplish vocabulary development, before reading the teacher needs to instruct their students on any prerequisites that they need to understand to interpret the text appropriately. This means the teacher has to pull out the most important words as well as those that may be too difficult for the students and instruct them about them. For students to fully grasp the concept of the new vocabulary, mapping would be helpful and then making the appropriate stopping points for the students to fill-out their maps.
During their reading, students should be able to stop when a word presents itself that they are unfamiliar with to look it up or use context clues to figure out its meaning and purpose in the text. After reading, students need to communicate and put the word into context for them. All students will find a way that it best for them to remember the word and it may include their own personal experience with the word or emotional ties to it. After the reading, the teacher needs to identify and clear up any misconceptions that there may be.
Different rules apply for English Language Learners (ELL). First, only give these students a few vocabulary words that you would pair with a review of the concept to clear up any cultural differences there may be with the word. To better help them with their comprehension of not only the text but also the word put the word in their native language as well. By accommodating these students and giving them the skills to learn how to read and comprehend the text is setting...