Decade 2020

by Dr. Peter M. Toscano

Decade 2020: An Exploration of Transformative Education on the Verge of a New Decade

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Literacy Part 1: Vocabulary Acquisition in Secondary Schools: A Framework for Application

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Introduction

An extensive and varied vocabulary is a powerful tool in today’s world. Yet, many secondary students do not possess the skills necessary to enrich their vocabularies and their teachers are often unsure or unaware of the best approaches to accomplish this task. It is essential for students to develop the ability to grow a vocabulary that corresponds with the level of reading comprehension required to successfully navigate a high school career and beyond. Accordingly, it is crucial that vocabulary instruction occurs at the secondary level, but what are the best methods of instruction? Can we formulate a framework for instruction to guide our teachers so that they can support all our students, especially under-performing readers, those students reading below grade level?

Some type of vocabulary instruction is still widely administered in secondary schools, but in many

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