Do we still need to teach vocabulary in schools?

I just want to drop a brief note and reflection about a teachable moment I created earlier today.  I was at the Cambria Heights Library in Queens today and as I was checking out my book, I overheard two young girls excitedly talking to a librarian and they were asking him to quiz them on vocabulary words.  These girls were shouting, jumping up and down, and eagerly wanted this guy to quiz them as they prepped for an upcoming spelling bee–I heard them say.  I smiled to myself as I began to check out the books in my hand.  I was happy to hear the girls’ excitement about their semantic interests.

Then, the librarian turned to me and asked if I could practice with the girls and I gladly accepted.  I then had a 15 minute spelling bee quiz with these two 3rd graders–asking them to spell words, such as ‘administration’, ‘technology’, ‘veterinarian’, and ‘ambulance’ and the girls spelled each word correctly!  I was excited from their excitement!

On the way home, I thought to myself that the teaching of vocabulary is VERY important for many reasons; a few of those reasons are: 1) increases reading comprehension & analysis; 2) expands one’s thinking and logical practices; and, 3) advances one’s writing skills and speech patterns.

So, to answer the proposed question, YES, vocabulary is still an essential part of one’s personal development and should still be taught in our schools.  We need to work with out youth on a daily and weekly basis and reinforce vocabulary, prefixes, suffixes, and word choice exercises with them.  IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE!

In Love,
Dr. Manning

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