Teach Vocabulary through Reading and Discussion

The practice of integrating reading comprehension into vocabulary teaching is a valuable method with which to introduce new language, whilst maintaining relevant context. Activities such as regular group and teacher-led reading, with an analysis component after, proves highly successful in teaching vocabulary (Bintz, 2011). Indeed, Anderson & Nagy (1991) suggest that reading not only aids in the development of words knowledge, but that learning vocabulary increases comprehension and future learning. Thus, through reading, students learn vocabulary and comprehend meaning, which allows them to work with sources that are more complex. This is a critical skill for pre-university students since they are expected to work with intricate research material. Traditional methods of teaching vocabulary, such as through definition of words, with dictionaries and worksheets being the primary resources, are less successful in developing the vocabulary of students compared to undertaking reading (Weir, 1991). What is crucial in the success of teaching vocabulary through reading is that teachers facilitate the group so that there is an environment of collaboration. Long et al., (as cited in Pica, 2000) highlighted that peer work promoted vocabulary development through communication and practice, which was far more advantageous in terms of word learning. As a result, a useful vocabulary teaching design should focus on reading comprehension and student collaboration.




Anderson, R. C., & Nagy, W. E. (1991). Word meanings. In R. Barr, M. L. Kamil, P. B. Mosenthal, & P. D. Pearson (Eds.), Handbook of reading research (pp. 690-724). New York, NY: Longman.

Bintz, W. P. (2011). Teaching vocabulary across the curriculum. Middle School Journal, 42(4), 44-53.

Pica, T. (2000). Tradition and transition in English language teaching methodology1. System, 28(1), 1-18. doi:http://doi.org/10.1016/S0346-251X(99)00057-3

Weir, B. (1991). Making wordsmiths. Reading Horizons, 32, 7-19.

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