Closing the Vocabulary Gap£16.99
- Alex takes us on a journey exploring what teachers need to know about reading, developing vocabulary and spelling
- The book includes handy lists and strategies to support students with some of the most challenging aspects of the English language.
- The book encourages developing ‘word rich classrooms’
- Alex Quigley sets about to answer three fundamental questions about helping develop vocabulary skills in pupils.
- The book concludes by showcasing how teachers can reflect upon their own practice, promoting and scaffolding high-quality vocabulary.
Review compiled by: Colin Hill
Reports about the poor levels of children’s vocabulary when entering formal schooling continue with concerns that levels of literacy are worrying low, affecting the academic ability and standards. At no time has the importance of the role of the teacher demanded ensuring that pupils receive a rich literacy experience to ensure they are well-equipped to deal with the wide range of vocabulary choices available to articulate themselves in life.
As Alex Quigley points out in his book ‘Closing the Vocabulary Gap’, we know that a great deal of our vocabulary is learned incidentally and implicitly outside of the school gates, and it appears that the socio-economic background of a family impacts on the wealth of vocabulary available to a child. With the bar set so low for many pupils entering formal schooling, Alex Quigley sets about to answer three fundamental questions: How do we explicitly teach vocabulary? What training is required for teachers to do so effectively and with confidence? How can we more sensitively check for vocabulary gaps in our daily practice in the classroom? Notably, these questions are relevant to all teachers at all stages of the school system, and not confined to our Early Year colleague who spot the obvious gaps in children from day one.
Through the book, Alex takes us on a journey exploring what teachers need to know about reading, developing vocabulary, along with a chapter dedicated on exploring spelling that includes handy lists and strategies to support students with some of the most challenging aspects of the English language spelling system.
Most impressively, the book also offers practical strategies throughout, but in a concluding chapter Alex really nails down on selecting, explaining, exploring and consolidating on building a rich vocabulary in students, developing ‘word rich classrooms’. As teachers, we not only have a duty of helping our students pass exams, but we also have a duty of care to help them articulate themselves better. The book concludes by showcasing how teachers can reflect upon their own practice, promoting and scaffolding high-quality vocabulary resulting in a win-win situation for all. Perhaps then, closing the vocabulary gap iniquitous cycle might finally be broken.
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