Academic Vocabulary Strategies Module

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Module Goals 

This module will equip K-12 educators with strategies that will help students tackle vocabulary words within context. The goals of this Professional Learning Module are to provide...


  • strategies for educators to implement academic language through building teacher’s understanding of academic language;
  • procedures for implementing vocabulary instruction to build academic language in their students;
  • assessment opportunities to further grow and promote student learning; and
  • research-based strategies for teachers to use to instruct vocabulary in order to enrich student’s academic vocabulary skills.


The Academic Vocabulary Strategies module addresses the Common Core State Standards (to the right). The module focuses on interpreting words within a text to determine meaning. Additionally, the goal of the module is to help teachers implement strategies recommended by the National Council of Teachers of English. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).


Further, the Standards for Professional Learning will be addressed through the implementation and use of professional development for educators to grow and develop a community of learners through a learner-centered, knowledge-centered, and assessment-centered environment that promotes academic language. According to the Standards for Professional Learning provided by Learning Forward (n.d., p. 16) the following characteristics should be considered when evaluating professional learning and if it is effective:


  • When professional learning is standards-based it has greater potential to change what educators know, are able to do, and believe.
  • When educators’ knowledge, skills, and dispositions change, they have a broader repertoire of effective strategies to use to adapt their practices to meet performance expectations and student learning needs.
  • When educators' practice improves, students have a greater likelihood of achieving results.
  • When student results improve, the cycle repeats for continuous improvement.

Learner Objectives

Through the course of this module, the learner will be able to...

  • Reflect on the importance of effective vocabulary instruction and individual practices
  • Define and identify academic vocabulary
  • Recognize and give examples of researched-based academic vocabulary strategies 
  • Create an instructional plan that incorporates research-based academic vocabulary strategies 
  • Evaluate one's implementation of research-based academic vocabulary strategies and overall vocabulary instruction