The Importance of Developing Meta Linguistic Awareness

2 Jul
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Vocabulary instruction has gone through some significant changes over the years.  Some of you may recall when students  were assigned a list of words, often the spelling list, and then required to write the definitions.   A lot of students detested the tedious task of looking  up words and copying definitions.  Often the words in the definition were hard to relate too, so it became a copying task with little benefit to learning the definitions.  Education theory has moved on to promoting meta linguistic awareness. Developing meta linguistic awareness can be especially beneficial when developing vocabulary. Research has revealed that promoting  higher level thinking skills increases retention of information and allows students to integrate what they have learned.  

    For those of you who may need a refresher; Meta linguistic language  skills are strategies that are applied, either consciously or automatically, to an oral or written linguistic interaction to allow one to think about language.  It is our ability to think about language and manipulate it beyond it’s written structure.  Remember the knock knock jokes and riddles  young  children attempt to tell around  6 yrs. of age.  They often lack  the punch line because they don’t grasp the idea of double meaning words.  This is the age when children are just starting to figure out that words and phrases  can be manipulated.  When they acquire this thinking ability, they are demonstrating meta linguistic awareness.

  Studies have found that  reading comprehension and meta linguistic skills are strongly linked (Achugar, Schleppegrell, & Oteíza, 2007).  If we want to get the most value from our teaching, we want students to develop thinking skills that  can be adapted to various situations.  You may have known a student or two who was an early  reader with above average reading skills in the early grades.  Although they were great sight readers in the early grades , they often faltered in the later elementary years.   They could  read the words individually but had difficulty comprehending within the text.  As the paragraphs and sentence structure became more complex there were often hidden meanings.  Things like double meaning words, satire, and unusual phrasing tripped them up.  Students exhibited difficulties with meta linguistic development could not adapt to the word meaning changes that occurred within context.

          So what does this mean when we are working with our students?  It means we want to encourage our students to think about language, be flexible, and think about if it makes sense within the context.  It is more than reading  a string of words.   The word meaning they memorized may not always work in every context.   They need to think about a variety of possible  meanings to get the best fit.  It means we want them to question, make associations, compare descriptive features, and contrast meanings.  We encourages students to be active thinkers and  in the process the information stays with them.

      For examples of speech activities using meta linguistics tasks, go to the top navigation heading and click on the section labeled Vocabulary.   Making word association is a great task for encouraging meta linguist skills. There is a good sampling of cards for download in that section.    There are free previews so that you can try some of them out with your students. You can get a pretty good tool box by just downloading all the previews and free cards.  Click on the star for a free preview and download of the Word Association Bundle. Click on the blue print for a direct link to TPT. The cards on TPT are available with the digital down load overlays and self checking with bar codes that work with the task cards or digitally.

Finding what is wrong with Silly Sentences is another activity that forces students to think about facts and how words relate to each other. It provides opportunities for students to recognized when the meaning doesn’t fit and not take it at face value. This is an important skill for today when we are bombarded constantly with false facts in social media. There are several sets of those for free downloads in the vocabulary section. I hope the activities in vocabulary section help you to explore and enhance the way you work on vocabulary development with your students.

Free Association Task Cards to Celebrate the New Year

27 Dec

 

 

 

 

I have been working on more categories of association task cards of late.  I thought my blog readers might enjoy having something new to start the year.   These are similar to the previous sets I have made but cover plants, land elements, and transportation vocabulary.

This is a sample set for you to try.  It has 12 cards and the complete set at TPT has 32.

I find this vocabulary to be more difficult for elementary and have you used it with the middle school population.  When you add them to the previous free sets you should have about 36 cards.  If you haven’t downloaded the others you can do a search for task cards and find the others.

As many of you know, one way to build vocabulary is to develop word association skills.  These are  task cards to help develop that skill.  When given a set of four words students compare and contrast  words to find which word  does not belong in  the set of four (the odd one out).  They then give a reason for their choice. This involves a higher level of thought process and awareness of word meanings beyond memorizing definitions.

A QRC code is  provided to explain the answer given.  Students can use this feature for self checking.   It is possible to have more than one answer although only one answer is provided.  You can download an  APP  on most mobile devices to scan and read the code. The reader is from  http://www.qrstuff.com/

The cards also lend themselves to answering wh questions, and using negatives such as  does/doesn’t in sentences.  I also  use them for eliciting spontaneous speech when  practicing articulation.

 

I hope you enjoy the free download and have a Happy New Year.  Thank you to all who have purchased from my TPT store and helped cover the cost of the “In Spontaneous Speech Blog.”  I have gotten thanked from people in my travels and that always makes me feel like  it is worth while continuing.

You can find the TPT set here. 

 

Sports and Occupation Association Task Cards: Free Trial

22 Oct

 

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A great way to build vocabulary is to develop word association skills. These cards are similar to the animal association cards but use sports and occupation vocabulary.   When given a set of four words students compare and contrast  words to determine which word  does not belong in  the set of four (the odd one out).  They then give their reason for their selection. This involves a higher level of thought process and awareness of word meanings beyond memorizing definitions.

The cards lend themselves to a variety of goals to include building vocabulary through word associations skills, answering wh questions, and using negatives such as  does/doesn’t in sentences.   They may also be used  for eliciting spontaneous speech when  practicing articulation at a conversation level. I am finding them appopriate for 5th through 8th grade.

I am posting a set of 12 cards for you to try out. Just click on the free trial button and it will bring you to the link for the free download.  If you find them useful, please consider purchasing the full set at Teachers Pay Teachers.  Your purchases help off set the cost of this blog.sports-thumbnail

free trial buttonThe full set at Teachers Pay Teachers consists of  a total of 48,  2 x 3 inch double sided cards; Included are 32 sports cards, and 16 occupation cards.   To make more durable cards print them on  card stock.  They are  double sided card with a front and back.  The front side provides the  word association task and the back side provides the answer.  Students may use the QRC code to get a confirmation of their reasoning. You can download an  APP  on most mobile devices to scan and read the code.

The apple button will bring you directly to the cards in TeacherPay Teachers.

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Free Trial Association Task Cards

31 Jul

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I recently added a new resource on Teachers Pay Teachers and as usual I made a trial version for my readers to try.  I used my association cards a lot last year and realized they really needed updating.  I decided to add pictures to make them more appealing.  I also made them double sided so that an answer could be given and QRC code could be added for reasoning.  This allows students to independently check their answers and  the use of technology can be  motivating.  The pictures are appropriate for older students so may be used beyond elementary age.

If you would like to try the free trial just click below.  free trial button                                    Association cards animal and householdtrialpdf

Teachers Pay Teachers is having a Back to School Sale starting tomorrow. If you would like the complete set please visit my store by clicking on the sale sign below or the cover at the top of this post.  You will be able to get them at a discount when you use the code.   I would really appreciate any comments you may have.

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