Vocabulary is the meaning behind the words we read in a text. There are four types of vocabulary: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Listening vocabulary is the words students need to have in their knowledge to be able to understand what they hear. Speaking vocabulary is the word bank students use to speak. Reading vocabulary are the words students need to understand what they read. Lastly, writing vocabulary is needed to write. Each type plays a role in the learning process. To be able to read, most beginning readers use that listening vocabulary to try to understand the vocabulary in text.
Research shows that most vocabulary students learn indirectly, while some needs to be explicitly taught. Students have to know what the words in a text mean to be able to comprehend the text. Some of these words are learned in conversation and through experiences while others are content-specific or too complex and need to be explcitly taught.
Some strategies to indirectly expose students to vocabulary is to engage in oral conversation with them, read books aloud, and encourage independent reading. To directly teach vocabulary, teachers can provide direct instruction for specific words, introduce unknown words before reading a text, and expose students to these specific words often and in various contexts.
Watch this video to learn more about the importance of vocabulary knowledge.