chapter  2
17 Pages

Vocabulary Knowledge, Reading Comprehension, and Readability

One of the main reasons teachers are interested in improving students’ vo­ cabularies is to help make them better readers. In fact, it has been known for a long time that the size of a person’s vocabulary is one of the strongest predictors of how well that person can understand what he or she reads (Anderson & Freebody, 1981; Davis, 1944). This relationship between vo­ cabulary and comprehension, which is hardly surprising, seems to have an obvious interpretation: Having a big vocabulary makes you a better reader. The instructional implication also seems obvious. If you teach students more words, they will understand text better.