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TextProject president and CEO Elfrieda H. (Freddy) Hiebert blogs about important issues in reading research and practice.
In linguistics, cognates are words that have a common origin.
We know that oral language is a primary way in which meaning gets constructed and built. Through talk, we come to understand concepts and our interpretations and ownership of ideas.
As facilitator of the 2009 CREATE conference, I promised attendees that I would reflect on what I view to the important take-aways from the conference and share them in this venue.
An idiom is a phrase whose meaning cannot be established by a literal translation of the words in the phrase.
Vocabulary is one of the topics that Cassidy and Cassidy listed as hot in Reading Today. Vocabulary should always be a hot topic in that it forms the foundation of knowing and learning anything. A typical direction that educators take when a topic is hot is to think of lessons and materials and curriculum. These things are part of the solution but an additional resource lies in the everyday talk of classrooms. Language is the medium of human interaction and, like any human context, language fills classroom life.
Word consciousness is much more than knowing about words or even knowing many words. Word consciousness is also a disposition—an appreciation of words and an interest in them.
Beyond the primary grades, the language of written texts becomes more sophisticated than the language of oral language. This doesn’t mean, however, that students don’t need numerous opportunities to hear and express sophisticated vocabulary in oral language.
Emphasizing vocabulary as a first step of a lesson makes sense in that different languages use different words to represent the same concepts. Students may already have the concept in their native language or at least some relevant background knowledge to the concept.