Isabel Beck, Ph.D., and Margaret McKeown, Ph.D., on the Relationship Between Vocabulary and Comprehension

Presented by: Isabel Beck, Ph.D., Author and Professor Emerita of Education in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh; and Margaret McKeown, Ph.D., Author and Clinical Professor of Education in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh
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Did you know: A student’s vocabulary knowledge in the first grade can predict their reading achievement all the way through to their junior year in high school.

The impact vocabulary can have on a student’s literacy journey has never been more evident than it is today. A knowledge of rich vocabulary words supports students’ ability to comprehend when reading, while in turn, reading comprehension reinforces their attention to language as they deepen their understanding of new texts.

In other words, creating a classroom full of literacy heroes requires instruction that combines robust vocabulary with lessons in comprehension. In this webinar, Dr. Isabel Beck and Dr. Margaret McKeown discussed the important relationship between vocabulary and comprehension and the effect each has on literacy achievement, including:

  • What effective vocabulary instruction looks like
  • What “Tier 2” words are and why they have a higher impact on both vocabulary and comprehension
  • What the “lexical bar” is and how you can help all students cross it
  • The key differences between “questions” and “queries”
  • How to move students from surface understanding of a text (the “gist”) to a deeper understanding of what they’ve read (the “grist”)
  • And much more!