Oracy: Strategies to develop specific vocabulary (linguistic)

It is so important to develop pupils’ vocabulary. Alex Quigley states that pupils need to acquire over 50,000 words to access their GCSEs. Indeed, the EEF Literacy reports state that teachers must provide explicit vocabulary instruction in every subject, use effective approaches to help students remember new words and prioritise teaching tier 2 and 3 vocabulary.

Alex Quigley suggests teachers should employ the SEEC model to support students’ vocabulary acquisition. The four stages of the SEEC model are outlined below:

To support deploying this model in practice, here are some strategies you might consider using for each stage.

1.Select: Identify and purposefully select the vocabulary you wish to teach explicitly. Some exam boards provide useful guidance on this in their specifications, which could be a useful starting point. This flowchart can be a useful tool to help decipher which words need to be explicitly taught.

Additionally websites like rewordify or eap foundation can help to identify academic words to select to teach explicitly. Asking pupils to create their own glossaries or self assess their understanding of a word, like the example below, can help.

2/3. Explain and explore: As teachers we should take a planned approach to explaining and exploring words, including meaningful repeated exposures to those words to ensure word depth. Vocabulary should be taught not caught. Some strategies to support this can be seen below, the Frayer model enables pupils to explore a word from different perspectives, speak like an expert requires pupils to explain a concept fully using tier 3 words.

Exploring examples and non examples can really help, as well as giving pupils the opportunity to explore the etymology and morphology of words. This website can really help identify the etymology of words.

4. Consolidate: Pupils should have opportunities to record, revisit and relearn vocabulary frequently in order to store it in their long term memory. Using quizzing, glossaries where they explain the word in their own words, active use of knowledge organisers as well as activities exploring connections between key words can really help.

This report from Oxford University Press has some excellent ideas within it to teach vocabulary explicitly, as well as subject specific ideas.





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