Vocabulary plays an important role in learning to read. As beginning readers, children use the words they have heard to make sense of the words they see in print.

Vocabulary is also very important in reading comprehension. Readers cannot understand what they are reading without knowing what most of the words mean.

Definition of Vocabulary

Vocabulary is the knowledge of words and their meanings. They are the building blocks of language that students need to communicate effectively.

Oral vocabulary words are used in speaking or recognized in listening. Reading vocabulary words are recognized in print.

Three Tiers of Vocabulary Instruction

Here is a brief review of the three tiers of vocabulary:

  • Tier One encompasses basic words such as: to, all, of
  • Tier Two words are used in everyday life such as: marathon, computer, and splatter
  • Tier Three relates to the content areas of math, science, and social studies, such as: biology, Fahrenheit, and genetics