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Citation: Allen, Janet. (1999). Words, Words, Words: Teaching Vocabulary in Grades 4-12. Portland, ME: Stenhouse. (E-Book).

Title: Words, Words, Words: Teaching Vocabulary in Grades 4-12
Year: 1999
Publisher: Stenhouse
City: Portland, ME
Medium: E-Book
Author(s): Allen, Janet
Grades: Fourth Grade to Twelfth Grade
Category: Teaching Vocabulary English Language Learners and Writing
Annotation: Many intermediate grade teachers are often frustrated with the fact that they teach vocabulary, weekly word lists, and word wall words, and still students’ do not transfer what they learn about vocabulary and words to their reading and writing. Janet Allen is a master teacher that struggled with the same issue. In this book she writes to teachers and for teachers about how she addressed this same issue with her own students. On page 5, Janet writes: “The connection between reading comprehension and word knowledge has been clear for many years. According to Davis (1944, 1968), “Vocabulary knowledge is related to and affects comprehension. The relationship between word knowledge and comprehension is unequivocal.” Recent research showing the connection between word knowledge, concept development, and prior knowledge and the impact these have on reading comprehension indicate that some drastic changes in our teaching methods are warranted.” This is the foundation upon which Janet writes to teachers as she describes how she creates a language-rich environment with lots of thinking, talking, listening, reading, and writing. When Janet discovered that the old traditional methods of teaching vocabulary did not work, she increased shared reading and independent reading practice for her students. While doing a massive amount of reading practice does increase vocabulary and reading comprehension, she found that adolescent readers still needed explicit instruction in word-learning and strategies in order to become independent, fluent, self-extending, and proficient readers, particularly for those students’ who struggle. Janet Allen takes us through current research and helps us understand the multiple levels of understanding and effective vocabulary instruction.

In Chapter 4, "Reading as the Heart of Word-Rich Classroom," I found powerful, efficient, and effective ways to make word study meaningful for all my students. The chapter included: Vocabulary To, With, and By, Having Fun with Language, Word Walls, Reading the World, and Building on the Language Students Bring.

Janet Allen cleverly selected the title of her book from William Shakespeare, Polonius: What do you read, my lord? Hamlet: Words, Words, Words. She explores her own teaching journey, her learning, and how she uses books to teach words and vocabulary in meaningful context for grades 4-12.