The word gap – or vocabulary gap as it is also known – is having an enormous impact on our students’ futures.
What is the effect of the word gap?
Limited vocabulary prevents students from accessing their learning, developing self-esteem, and enjoying meaningful social interactions, severely affecting their future life chances. And over 60% of secondary teachers surveyed for the Oxford Language Report Why Closing the Word Gap Matters believe this vocabulary deficit is increasing.
How can we address the word gap?
In partnership with Oxford University Press, Closing the word gap: activities for the classroom – secondary aims to help schools address this issue. It is free to all, and provides strategies and practical ideas to develop a vocabulary-rich environment, build vocabulary, and foster a love of language in every secondary classroom, whatever the subject.
Starting with guidance for senior managers, SENDCos, or literacy leaders on developing a whole-school policy for closing the gap, Closing the word gap: activities for the classroom – secondary is divided into sections for English, maths, science, geography, and history teachers, each featuring two further sections: Vocabulary for your subject and Vocabulary to improve your students’ writing.
Featuring advice on using word banks, making links between key terms, teaching etymology and morphology, and vocabulary for exams, the geography section also includes strategies and activities for: identifying students’ vocabulary range, global reading (with suggestions for stories and adventures to introduce different topics), sounding like a geographer, locating mistakes, and giving feedback.
Free and relevant to all
Whilst students with special educational needs or those with English as an additional language may be considered more likely to have a word gap, the Oxford Language Report shows that, in fact, this is an issue affecting all students. Therefore, the activities in Closing the word gap: activities for the classroom have been designed to take into account the needs of students from a variety of backgrounds – disadvantaged or otherwise – and can be adapted to suit different levels of attainment.
The issue isn’t just relevant to the secondary phase; Closing the word gap: activities for the classroom – primary looks at strategies and ideas to address the word gap in primary schools – from those all-important early years (EYFS) through to the end of KS2.
With a foreword by Geoff Barton, Closing the word gap: activities for the classroom is free to all and a must for all secondary schools.