Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Isabel Beck - The Tiers of Vocabulary Words

These are my working notes as I work my way through the literature on learning vocabulary. Just rough notes for myself. Kept here so I don't lose them and htey don't clutter up my desk.

Beck has several tiers.

Tier 1.  About 5K words, Known to native speakers. Sad, funny, blue, old, etc
Tier 2.   About 7K words. These we need to learn. adept, adopt, conundrum, remorse. These are basically words with a shade of difference meaning than a tier 1 word. Example: "sad" is a tier 1 word but "forlorn", "regretful",  "melancholy", and "depressed" would be tier 2. (source: John & Beck Videos)
Tier 3.   About 10K more words of domain specific and academic vocabulary.
Tier 4.   There's also another 300K of very specialized vocabulary.

Sadly, many schools have students from language deprived backgrounds who need help mastering even the basic 5K of Tier 1 words.

VocabularySpellingCity is doing this research review on vocabulary so that we fully understnad which words lists are worth studying and in which way.  Of course, the gola is tention and our key is to avoid the weekly cycle with cramming, to support a multiweek cycle of encounters with the words which include 12-1 word encounters of a large variety of types.  And to truly deal with nuance and context, not just to oversimplify...

For instance (and I quote):

VocabularySpellingCity offers hundreds of free second grade spelling and vocabulary lists that correlate with 2nd grade state standards. Second grade teachers have the option of importing from a wide variety of word lists and assigning interactive games and activities to students. Teachers can also access supplemental literacy tools, such as free handwriting printables, via VocabularySpellingCity.
Second grade spelling word lists include Dolch and Fry sight word lists, Words Their Way® word pattern lists, and word structure lists (compound words). Second grade students can build sight word fluency and phonics mastery through the use of VocabularySpellingCity’s interactive online games. Second grade games feature both audio and visual elements, an effective learning tool for all maturing readers and writers, specifically English Language Learners (ELLs).

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