October 11, 2022

Classroom Vocabulary: Level Up With “College Talk”

From content-specific words for increasing comprehension and learning outcomes to improving overall vocabulary through ongoing practice with better words, vocabulary instruction is every teacher’s responsibility.

This video highlights a clever strategy used by a 2nd-grade teacher who considers common phrases she uses throughout the regular school day talking with her students. She then identifies higher-level words to communicate the same thing, thus improving vocabulary through natural and consistent use of better words.

College talk starts with intrigue and a tiny bit of confusion, but with consistent repetition, students quickly understand and their own listening and speaking vocabularies expand because of their teacher’s talk!

The adaptations of this vocabulary strategy are endless. Start with common phrases you use with your students and up-level the key words, especially verbs and adjectives. Create a vocabulary-rich learning environment with college talk and visual references that lead all students to high-energy vocabulary engagement and development throughout the school day.

Reflection Question:

How does the use of repetition and better vocabulary in common instructional phrases support all learners?


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