Capstone/Dissertation Title

Manipulating the pieces of the puzzle: effective vocabulary strategies for secondary students

Term

2013

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MALED

Abstract

The research question addressed in this project is, how can utilizing vocabulary strategies in secondary content area classrooms make subject matter more accessible to students? The author's view of students in all courses as language learners trying to navigate the unique speech and demands of each academic discipline served as inspiration for this study. Four effective strategies for teaching vocabulary, shared in the literature review, were selected and implemented in one unit of instruction with beginning level Spanish students. Major findings of this action research include the importance of regularly seeking student feedback in designing curriculum and secondary students' desire to interact and construct knowledge with their peers in engaging and competitive activities that incorporate listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The ultimate goal of this work is to use vocabulary instruction as a stepping-stone in expanding the focus on content area literacy instruction at the secondary level.

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