Vocabulary Instruction for ELLs

Vocabulary instruction is a vital part of helping English language learners access academic content. These recommended guides offer research-based programs, strategies, word lists, and fun activities to guide vocabulary instruction for ELLs. From word games to district-wide academic vocabulary initiatives, you'll find a range of approaches and suggestions to fit your own situation.

Additional strategies can be found in the vocabulary sections of recommended titles on our ELL content-area and reading instruction booklists.

Building Academic Vocabulary: Teacher's Manual

Product Description: Using the manual's list of 7,923 terms, school and district teams can choose the most important vocabulary terms they want to teach to all students. All vocabulary terms are extracted from national standards documents, across 11 subject areas, and are organized into four grade-level intervals: K—2, 3—5, 6—8, and 9—12. Included in the manual are all the tips and guidelines teachers need to implement this approach. Student notebook also available.

Inside Words: Tools for Teaching Academic Vocabulary (Grades 4-12)

Product Description: In Inside Words, Janet Allen merges recent research and key content-area teaching strategies to show teachers how to help students understand the academic vocabulary found in textbooks, tests, articles, and other informational texts. Each instructional tool is listed alphabetically along with its purpose: building background knowledge; teaching words that are critical to comprehension; providing support during reading and writing; developing a conceptual framework; and assessing students' understanding of words and concepts.

The Words Came Down!

Beginning with designing a classroom that welcomes students and creates appropriate conditions for learning, the authors go on to detail a workshop format for reading, writing and content-area studies. Oral language is emphasized in a continuum from teacher modeling to student-to-student communication. This book emphasizes that when children's attempts at communicating are accepted and celebrated, they will learn to communicate with each other comfortably and spontaneously wherever they may be.

Vocabulary Games for the Classroom

Vocabulary Games for the Classroom is a collection of games for teachers to play with their students to help them gain a better grasp of the finer words in the English language. With plenty of example activities for any primary or secondary school grade level, terms for different subjects, questions, and how to emphasize the importance of vocabulary, Vocabulary Games for the Classroom is a strong pick and solidly recommended read for any language teacher. — Midwest Book Review

Vocabulary Their Way: Word Study with Middle and Secondary Students

Photos of young people

Product Description: The author team that developed the research-rooted word study phenomenon Words Their Way turn their attention to the same kind of hands on, research based approach to developing vocabulary with students in intermediate, middle, and secondary grades. The text offers research-tested ideas for helping students use word patterns to puzzle out meaning to content area vocabulary.

Words Their Way with English Learners: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling (2nd Ed.)

Photo of teacher working with students

This second edition includes all of the teacher-friendly resources of the first edition, with the added bonus of an extensive media component featuring multiple videos, ready-made word sorts, and a "create-your-own word sorts" tool. Another highlight is the inclusion of a new chapter addressing the most advanced level of word study, Derivational Relations, which will allow teachers to design word study lessons for students at upper elementary through high school levels.