Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

James Cornette, Lee Jones, Gordon Wilson, Finley Grise

Degree Program

School of Teacher Education

Degree Type

Master of Arts


There is a need for a clearer understanding of the methods by which vocabularies can be enlarged most effectively. Results of experiments indicate that pupils are unable to recognize their own deficiencies and needs in respect to the meanings of words; consequently they need some type of guidance in enlarging their meaning vocabularies. Teachers are agreed that word lists are a non-effective device. They are agreed, too, that not one or a few techniques are being used to teach the meanings of new words, but many techniques. The two most effective seem to be (1) relating the word to former experiences and (2) studying the context in which the word appears and the environment surrounding it. Incidental attention to words results occasionally in vocabulary growth and in correspondingly improved comprehension. There are many words, however, which are not mastered in this way and for which direct instruction in their meaning, recognition, and use is necessary. By its very nature direct instruction concerning the meaning, recognition, and use of words brings out essential relationships and promotes good organization of ideas. Direct instruction on words taken from the context promotes greater accuracy in word recognition in oral reading, more fluent and orderly habits of recognition in silent reading, and more detailed and accurate comprehension of the meaning of what is read in both oral and silent reading.


Education | Elementary Education and Teaching | English Language and Literature | Teacher Education and Professional Development