ABSTRACT

Research has shown that a child’s vocabulary knowledge is frequently tied to economic background. The Common Core State Standards Initiative, led by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governor’s Association, aims to provide equal educational opportunities for all US students and ensure they are prepared for college and careers. By some calculations, students will be asked to read more than 180,000 words throughout their K–12 education and will need to learn a reading vocabulary of 3,000–4,000 words each year. Dictionary definitions may actually cloud a word’s meaning rather than help a student learn it. For students who have learned to read, wide reading of different types of texts, including trade books, along with direct teacher instruction and rich vocabulary experiences can help them continue to build word schema. Students at risk for academic failure, including children of poverty, minority students, and English language learners, should participate in academic discussions on a regular basis.