Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Nell K. Duke, Gina N. Cervetti quoted in EdWeek story

Tags: cervetti, duke, early literacy, expertise, reading

A story on vocabulary instruction posted on Education Week’s website quotes Nell K. Duke and Gina N. Cervetti.

"We've known for a long, long time from research that giving students a list of words and asking them to look them up in the dictionary and write a sentence is not an effective way to teach vocabulary," said Duke.

The story asserts that some experts believe a better approach is to have students focus on a topic to learn words. By hearing words in one context again and again, students will attach deeper meaning to them and be able to use them in other contexts.

The story cited a U-M study, led by Cervetti, that found the approach can help students with “incidental acquisition” of words. "If kids have knowledge of the topic of the text ... they're having to wrestle less with the content of the texts, and that frees up attention for understanding unknown words and making inferences about the meaning of those words," Cervetti said.

Access the EdWeek story here.

Gina N. Cervetti is Associate Professor

Nell K. Duke is Professor

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