Vocabulary is very essential to the reading process as it is one of five core components that is essential to successfully teach children how to read. The other four core components include phonemic awareness, phonics and word study, fluency and comprehension (United States National Reading Panel, 2000). According to Rupley, Logan & Nicholas, 1998/99 in their book “Vocabulary instruction in a balanced reading program” stated that vocabulary knowledge is virtually vital important because it encompasses all the words we must know to access our background knowledge, express our ideas and communicate effectively, and learn about new concepts and thus making comprehension accessible for children”. It should be noted that students’ word knowledge is linked strongly to academic success because students who have large vocabularies can understand new ideas and concepts more quickly than students with limited vocabularies. The high correlation in the research literature of word knowledge with reading comprehension indicates that if students do not adequately and steadily grow their vocabulary knowledge, reading comprehension will be affected (Chall & Jacobs, 2003).
Essentially vocabulary can be defined as the knowledge of words and word meanings. Firstly, it is important to note that words can be divided into two category oral and print and subsequently oral vocabulary and print vocabulary. Oral vocabulary is words that are recognizable by us and are used in listening and speaking. Print vocabulary is words that are recognizable and are used in reading and writing. Secondly, it is also important to note that word knowledge also comes in two forms, receptive and productive. Receptive vocabulary comprise of words that we are recognizable whenever we hear or see them, while productive vocabulary comprise of words that we use when we speak or write. Receptive vocabulary is typically larger than productive vocabulary, and may include many words to which we assign some meaning, even if we don’t know their full definitions and connotations – or ever use them ourselves as we speak and write.
Vocabulary strengthens itself almost naturally as people encounter new words almost every day whether it be through hearing or listening to someone else say the word or through reading newspapers, books, blogs or articles etc... When someone encounters a word they don't know the meaning of while hearing or listening to someone speak and notifies the speaker that they don't know the definition of that word, it is explained to them. When encountering an unfamiliar word on the internet while reading something like an e-book, blog, discussion on a forum or an article, it is very easy to find out the definition of that word through dictionary sites. As long as people care enough to learn and are in an environment where new words are being used in literacy, speech, or music their level of vocabulary should perpetually increase. This invigorates each of your vocabulary types making it easier to be creative and charismatic with speaking and writing and to be more understanding and intuitive when listening and reading.
Aside from the main vocabulary types, there is also focal vocabulary and vocabulary lists. Focal vocabulary is a group of words or terminology that pertains almost exclusively to one particular word or phrase. Those groups of words are subsequently referred to as vocabulary lists. Example, a list for the word "Pirate" would consist of words like, ahoy, matey and cutlass. The latter three words would be a part of the vocabulary list and "Pirate" would be the word that the list pertains to or the focal vocabulary.
Vocabulary is critical to reading success for three reasons:
➢ A strong relationship between vocabulary knowledge and comprehension is very key to the success of the reading process. Word knowledge is crucial to reading comprehension and determines how well students will...