Vocabulary-Building Strategies for Students in Grades 4-12

(Grades 4-12) / Flex Course

PDI Course Number: 101T02 / UCSD Course Number: EDUC40145

Course Description

Do your students struggle with academic vocabulary? Does vocabulary instruction often get set aside for more “important” literacy-related instruction? This online course is designed to increase the effectiveness of vocabulary instruction in grades 4-12. This course teaches about the importance of explicitly teaching vocabulary and what teachers can specifically do to enhance their literacy programs so that vocabulary development is constantly nurtured. The course begins by discussing academic language and how to choose, and then introduce, new words. Teachers will learn specific strategies such as Greek and Latin roots, structural analysis, word parts, semantic feature analysis, analogies, mnemonics, and morphology in order to increase student vocabulary. Strategies for using context clues to gain vocabulary understanding are shared. Teachers will learn how to incorporate graphic organizers such as concept maps and word webs into their daily instruction in order to boost students’ vocabulary knowledge, both in reading and across all content areas. The idea of using vocabulary games will also be explored. Differentiation for teaching content area vocabulary at a variety of skill levels is shared. Ideas for vocabulary assessment are also discussed, resulting in an in-depth understanding of just what it takes to foster a quality vocabulary program. By the end of this course, teachers will have gained many effective strategies for teaching vocabulary. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units (50 hours of training) from University of California San Diego (UCSD) Division of Extended Studies. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"I've never taught course vocabulary with any real strategy. What a mistake. I never imagined there are so many great strategies that look super engaging. I know my students will love it and I can't wait to teach my first lesson. This was an awesome course." - Richard Drurey

Enrollment Options

Course Only

$120 with the 20% discount tier

Course with Credit from UCSD

$304 with the 20% discount tier

This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units or 5 quarter units of graduate-level credit from UCSD.

You have up to one year from the date you are enrolled to complete a flex course.

Click here to view the course syllabus.

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UCSD Course Number: EDUC40145
Unit One
  • Academic Language and the Common Core
  • Choosing Words to Teach
  • Introducing New Words
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1
Unit Two
  • Morphological Strategies
  • Structural Analysis and Word Parts
  • Greek and Latin Roots and Other Word Parts
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2
Unit Three
  • Using Context Clues
  • Concept Maps and Word Webs
  • Words Their Way
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3
Unit Four
  • Semantic Feature Analysis
  • Figurative Language and Analogies
  • Mnemonics and Word Associations
  • Test #4
Unit Five
  • Using Reference Materials
  • The Reading Connection
  • Fostering Vocabulary through Writing
  • Test #5
Unit Six
  • Vocabulary Games
  • Differentiating Vocabulary Instruction
  • Content Area Vocabulary
  • Vocabulary Assessment in Context
  • Assignment #4: Develop a vocabulary unit and assessment
  • Assignment #5: Course Reflection

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