Academic Vocabulary Professional Development

If vocabulary acquisition is a priority at your school,  your teachers need A.V.E. We have the key to helping your teachers master teaching vocabulary effectively and efficiently.  We have the tools to help all your students Achieve Vocabulary Excellence. All our professional development is offered onsite and online.

Board in classroom

Achieving Vocabulary Excellence - A.V.E. - in the K-12 Classroom

Improving academic vocabulary is something that an overwhelming number of teachers, schools, and school districts find challenging.  Year after year, getting better at teaching and learning vocabulary remains the key focus.  While there are many examples of incredible gains that schools have achieved, for most schools these gains in vocabulary comprehension and usage are far from enough.

If Academic Vocabulary Acquisition is a priority for your teachers, AVE {Achieving Vocabulary Excellence} is what you need.  

If you would like to organize professional development for your district or school, contact us directly to discuss options.

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This set of four workshops provides educators with a clear understanding of the SIOP framework, a set of highly engaging model lessons, practical TESOL techniques, and tips that encourage excellence in teaching and in learning

Why is teaching (or learning) vocabulary so difficult?

Of the many challenges teachers help students overcome, Vocabulary Acquisition is cited as the most urgent.

Here are the top 5 complaints that teachers share about vocabulary:

  1. My students' vocabulary deficits are too great to overcome.
  2. There's no time to teach vocabulary.
  3. Students don't retain the vocab we study.
  4. I never see new vocab in their writing.
  5. Students can't understand what the question is even asking.
John Kongsvik models conversation circles to maximize speaking opportunities.

Why is Vocabulary Challenging to Learn?

Look at it from the student's perspective

Reasons Students Don't Like Learning Vocabulary

There are a lot of reasons that students may be turned off by vocabulary learning in the classroom.  Here are some of the common things that students say:

  1. "Learning vocabulary is boring."
  2. "Only the smart kids get to practice."
  3. "I'm not good at learning vocabulary."
  4. "I don't understand these definitions either."
  5. "I hate drawing (when teacher asks students to draw a picture of the word)."
Students in class learning

Reasons Teachers Don't Like Learning Vocabulary

There are a lot of reasons that teachers may be turned off by vocabulary learning in the classroom.  Here are some of the common things that teachers say:

  1. "I dread teaching vocabulary.  It's so boring."
  2. "No one wants to practice vocabulary, especially out loud."
  3. "My students don't learn the vocabulary we study in class."
  4. "I don't have the time to prepare 'neat' activities."
  5. "Vocabulary takes up valuable time...too much, in fact."

Achieving Vocabulary Excellence Transforms Vocabulary Teaching & Learning

TESOL Trainers can empower your educators with dozens of strategies and techniques that will engage their students and energize vocabulary learning.  TESOL Trainers' use of the experiential learning cycle helps teachers develop confidence and competence that they will be successful trying out the practical techniques teachers gain during the workshop.

Strategies to Increase Academic Language Acquisition

Fortunately, there are many research-based strategies and techniques to really Achieve Vocabulary Excellence in the classroom and among all students, not just the high performers.  Here are a few examples of the types of strategies that will empower your teachers:

  1. Reaction:  Teaching vocabulary is so boring.  Remedy:  Shake it up.  If you're bored, how do you think your students feel?  Stretch yourself and try new stuff out.  Trying new things helps the teacher & the students interact with vocabulary in new ways.
  2. Reaction:  My students don't practice anyways.  Remedy:  Safety first. What could be holding students back from practicing?  The best way to minimize fear is to provide an engaging activity in a comfortable, risk free environment. 
  3. Reaction:  Students never retain the vocab.  Remedy:  Stop what isn't working.  What is it that you're doing that just isn't work?  In order to really set our students up for success, we have to be willing to teach in a way that they can learn it.
  4. Reaction:  I don't have a lot of prep time.  Remedy:  Use on-the-fly techniques.  How can I do more with what I have?  The key isn't more materials and more handouts.  Figure out how to do more with fewer materials.  
  5. Reaction:  Vocab teaching takes too much time.  Remedy:  Become more efficient.  Figure out what parts of vocabulary instruction are sucking up all of the time and consider how to change them.  Time is finite; do more with what you have.
Learning & teaching vocabulary can be both enjoyable and efficient.

Teachers need to change the way they teach & the way their students learn.

There are many things that teachers do when working with vocabulary that are either ineffective, inefficient, or both.  Some things teachers can modify (like not spend sooooo much time on memorizing definitions).  Other things teachers can adopt (like letting students use the vocabulary more than the teacher does).  

TESOL Trainers will set your teachers and student sup for success by making them owners of new vocabulary.

TESOL Trainers offers a powerful set of professional development that will dramatically transform the way that vocabulary is learned and taught at school.  

‚ÄčContact John Kongsvik, the director of¬†TESOL Trainers, to discuss how we can set you up for success.‚ĄĘ¬†

Our remote professional development training sessions will fill teachers with scores of strategies, dozens of easy-to-implement techniques and an amazing array of tips that will instigate effective learning by inspiring effective teaching.  

Here are just a few things that will make a profound difference in how vocabulary is taught and learned after attending our remote PD:

  • Understanding the four components of vocabulary: ¬†form, usage, meaning, and pronunciation
  • Connecting oral language development to vocabulary growth.
  • Using the four domains of language to promote vocabulary.
  • Creating active (versus passive) vocabulary learning
  • Recycling language to support confidence and competence.
  • Using speaking to support writing.
  • Making listening activities opportunities to work with vocabulary.
  • Using context cues to understand new language.
  • Developing awareness to vocabulary comfort
  • Assessing the self on vocabulary usage.
  • Structuring lessons to have a language learning focus.

Contact John Kongsvik, the director of¬†TESOL Trainers, to discuss how we can set you up for success.‚ĄĘ¬†

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