Problems and Complexities
The main purpose of this book is to support teachers in doing something to increase their students’ vocabularies. However, before we can talk about what needs to be done, we have to clearly understand the nature and sever ity of the problem we are facing. We do not pretend to offer any easy solu tions. Producing substantial, long-term gains in students’ vocabularies requires a serious investment of planning, time, and energy. It would be foolish to take the kind of comprehensive approach to promoting vocabu lary growth that we present if there were some simple, inexpensive alterna tive that would do the job. Thus, we would like to set the stage by portraying the seriousness of the situation as vividly as possible. Please bear with us as we try to paint a realistic, even bleak, picture of the difficulties associated with vocabulary learning.