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High School — Reading
Acquisition of Vocabulary

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    Acquisition of Vocabulary

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      Overview: Talking with Teachers about Acquisition of Vocabulary

      Knowing a word requires both understanding its definition, and understanding how to use it. As students develop their knowledge of words, they learn to choose language that expresses their ideas precisely. As a result, they become more sensitive to the subtle shades of meaning in what others say and write.

      Students should be able to infer reasonably accurate definitions for unfamiliar words based on context. They should be able to recognize synonyms, identify and understand figurative language, and come up with clear definitions for many different words.

      Learning new words is a lifelong pursuit. Whenever we study a new subject, read a novel from a different era, or learn about a particular place, we encounter new words, or familiar words used in new ways. Students should be encouraged not just to learn particular words, but to enjoy learning words in general, and to have different strategies for doing so.

      The Ohio Academic Content Standards establish the following expectations for student performance in the area of Acquisition of Vocabulary:

      • Students must know and use a wide variety of vocabulary skills and strategies to comprehend new words encountered in text;
      • Students must use analytical and inferential skills to explore word meanings and relationships.

      The content in this Teaching Tool is based on Ohio's Academic Content Standards and Benchmarks and includes types of questions asked on the Ohio Graduation Test. While various suggestions and activities for working with students are included, this Teaching Tool is designed to complement a rigorous, research-based curriculum, not to substitute for one.

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