Johns Hopkins University Secondary Support Initiative (JHUSSI)  



Vocabulary development includes the ability to acquire and utilize new words and unknown terms through a variety of strategies (RAND, 2002). Vocabulary awareness is an essential component of reading. Beginning readers must use their knowledge of spoken language to decipher the words they see in print. As such, research suggests that the more spoken words a developing child is exposed to in their daily life, the greater their fluency and comprehension will be with reading written language. Vocabulary is critical to comprehension of a text. Naturally, a reader must understand the meaning of most of the words they read in order to comprehend the message or information of a text. Therefore, vocabulary development is an important skill that should be taught across grade levels and content areas (Reading Rockets, 2015).


The following lessons highlight multisensory instructional strategies that help children bridge the gap utilize their knowledge of word parts as well as their previous life experiences to facilitate the acquisition of new vocabulary terms.