Classroom Support

Within your planning, identify and prioritise key vocabulary. When incorporating specific vocabulary targets into IEPs, you may wish to attach a list of key words which you will be working on with the child throughout the half-term.

By using prompts and questions, the phonological and semantic information about the word can be highlighted. Vocabulary learning is most effectively supported when phonological and semantic information is linked.

  • Provide additional information about the meaning or structure of the word in order to build internal organisation for vocabulary and aid word retrieval. eg. thermometer – hot, cold, temperature, seasons; tri-triangle, triple, triplet.
  • Relate new vocabulary to secure, familiar vocabulary. eg. only introduce the term minus when the pupil understands and is secure in using the terms subtraction and take-away.
  • Help pupils to make associations between the new word and other related words e.g. provide pupil with a word list/book enhanced by visual clues or use subject-specific dictionaries.
  • Make a scrap book/personal dictionary. Use catalogue pictures/photographs stuck in with ‘blu-tak’ so they can be moved around. This could be organised semantically (a category per page) or phonologically (phoneme/syllable/rhyme per page).
  • When you are planning a differentiated curriculum (must, should, could) remember to group vocabulary into three bands:
         essential (core words)
         desirable (supplementary)
         might be nice (more peripheral/more abstract)
  • Teach pupils to produce memory/mind maps to emphasise links between words.
  • Use reading to support development of vocabulary.
  • Use rhymes and ‘play on words’ to help pupils remember new vocabulary.
  • Use flexible grouping arrangements to promote discussion.
  • Use pictures, words and/or objects for sorting/matching activities. eg: cat, dog, tiger, hat could be grouped according to:- category cat-dog-tiger (animals) associations cat-dog (pets) rhymes cat-hat.
  • Use a multi sensory approach to teaching new words. Give children opportunities to:
         Hear the words
         Say the words
         Read
         Write
         Act out
  • You could use some of the following questions:
PhonologySemantics
How many syllables has it got?What group does it belong to? (category)
What does it rhyme with?What does it do? (function)
What is the initial sound?Where might you find it? (context)
What is the final sound?What else is like this? – noun (similarity)
What are the other sounds in the word?What else can you do with it? (similarity)
 What else does it make you think of? (association)

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Last updated: 21 October 2015

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