Language for Learning

The phrase 'Language for Learning', as opposed to 'literacy', reflects the idea that proficiency in language underpins success in every subject as well in life beyond school, and that it's about so much more than how to use a semi-colon or knowing what a fronted adverbial is. We have split Language for Learning into four key strands, covering using full sentences in speech and writing, modelling the process of writing, acknowledging that keywords are key to understanding, and enabling students to 'bulletproof' their own work.

Vocabulary: Tier 2 icons to support dual coding

It really helps pupils to understand a concept when it is presented in partnership with a connected visual. Based on the principle of dual coding this will help cement the word in the child’s mind. It will also help to attach the word with the image, therefore increasing the likelihood they will remember that term. …

Vocabulary: Top Tips for explicit instruction

In Beck and McKeown’s book (Beck et al., 2007) ‘Bringing word to life’ there is fantastic guidance in relation to explicit vocabulary instruction: 1.Introduce words through explanations in everyday connected language, rather than dictionary definitions 2.Provide several contexts in which the word can be used 3.Get students to interact with word meanings right away 4.Develop …

Vocabulary: Academic Word List (Tier 2)

The Academic Word List, developed by Averil Coxhead at Victoria University of Wellington, (Coxhead 2000) consists of 570 word ‘families’ commonly found in academic subject texts. Use this tool to identify academic vocabulary within extracts of text used within lessons. AWL look up tool   AWL_tool

Vocabulary: Word mats

Word mats can help pupils to uplevel the vocabulary they use when writing. It can provide alternative choices of words or simply provide prompts to challenge pupils to use more advanced vocabulary. Word mat Tables like the one below can help pupils to know how to improve the vocabulary used in their writing. Uplevel vocab …

Vocabulary: Quizlet

Quizlet is a versatile tool to help pupils familiarise themselves with new vocabulary and test themselves on it in different ways. It supports the teaching and repetition of Tier 3 vocabulary. Each vocabulary set that is created enables pupils to test themselves by hearing it, spelling it, writing it as well as games based learning …

Vocabulary: Making connections

In order to embed a depth of understanding this technique tests whether a pupil can make links between two words. Display a series of words and ask pupils to pair them up in whichever way they choose. They then must provide an explanation for their choice. Pupils demonstrate their acquisition of new vocabulary by identifying …

Vocabulary: Informed guesswork

Pupils are exposed to new vocabulary. They make an ‘informed guess’ as to what it could mean. They seek out the correct definition and then write their own definition to demonstrate understanding. Informed guesswork

Vocabulary: Frayer model

The Frayer model is a tool that can be used to aid explicit vocabulary instruction. Pupils are exposed to a new word, provided with an accurate definition and then must apply that word in different contexts. For example, word, definition, synonym, antonym. It can also be reinforced by adding an image that links to the …

Improving Literacy in Secondary Schools

Click here to read the full report on literacy provision in Secondaries. Some important summaries to take note of.

Talking debate

This speaking framework is a great tool to help pupils develop the skill to argue and debate. It scaffolds dialogue to enable pupils to express themselves with clarity and justification, a really important 21st century skill. Talking debate