Vocabulary Assessment to Support Instruction: Building Rich Word-Learning Experiences

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Margaret G McKeown, Paul D Deane, Judith A Scott, Robert Krovetz, Rene R Lawless

  • Vocabulary Assessment to Support Instruction

254 pages
Age Range: 5 to 18
ISBN: 9781462530793

Vocabulary development is essential for learning, but conventional vocabulary assessments lack the range and flexibility to support K-12 classroom teachers in making instructional decisions. Drawing on multiple disciplines - including linguistics, educational psychology, and educational measurement - this book offers a fresh perspective on word learning and describes powerful, precise assessment strategies.

Guidelines are presented for selecting which words to teach, evaluating the depth and richness of students' word knowledge and their ability to apply it in complex contexts, designing effective instructional practices, and using technology to create adaptive and scalable assessments.

User-friendly features include sample test items, classroom examples, a glossary, and suggested print and online resources.

A valuable resource for K–12 classroom teachers; reading specialists and coaches; assessment specialists; teacher educators and students; literacy researchers and policymakers; school administrators.

Table of Contents

  1. The Importance of Teaching and Assessing Vocabulary
  2. A New Perspective for Thinking about Vocabulary
  3. Surveying the State of Vocabulary Assessment
  4. Which Words and Word Meanings Should We Teach and Assess?
  5. How Should We Assess Vocabulary?
  6. Classroom Practices for Vocabulary Instruction
  7. Role of Technology to Support Adaptive, Flexible, and Scalable Assessments Appendix 7.1: Some Important Corpora
  8. Resources for Developing a Nation of Word Learners Glossary References Index

"In this important volume, five leading scholars challenge the narrow and simplistic definitions of vocabulary that too often have guided the teaching and assessment of word meanings. Drawing on research from linguistics, computational linguistics, literacy instruction, and educational measurement, the book advances a multifaceted, nuanced perspective on vocabulary and illustrates how this perspective can guide the next generation of assessments to inform instruction."
- Michael J. Kieffer, EdD, Steinhardt School of Education, Culture, and Human Development, New York University

"This book tackles the complex yet crucial topic of linking assessment to instruction in the domain of vocabulary. For decades, the field of education has been unable to meet the challenge of getting meaningful, useful vocabulary assessment into everyday classroom practice in a way that improves reading outcomes. McKeown and colleagues offer solutions that are anchored in current research and theory and have a realistic focus on today's learners and classroom practices. This excellent resource will be read and reread by all those keen on using the latest science of literacy development to boost student learning."
- Nonie K. Lesaux, PhD, Juliana W. and William Foss Thompson Professor of Education and Society, Harvard Graduate School of Education

"Finally—a book focused on meaningful vocabulary assessment to inform instructional practice! The volume extends our understanding of the vocabulary-learning process and presents multiple approaches to assessment that can be used flexibly with a range of students. Addressing the shortcomings of traditional vocabulary assessments, this book is full of practical ways to learn about students' depth of knowledge, gradations of knowledge, and application of knowledge, and includes a reader-friendly explanation of the research underlying these approaches."
- Susan Watts Taffe, PhD, School of Education, University of Cincinnati

"Our inability to comprehensively assess vocabulary learning has long been a major obstacle preventing teachers from maximizing the effectiveness of their instruction. This much-needed book represents a breakthrough in theory and practice. It will be an indispensable 'go-to' resource for a wide audience of practitioners and scholars."
- Michael D. Coyne, PhD, Special Education Program, University of Connecticut