Special Guest Post by The Teacher- Key to Comprehension?

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Vocabulary: a Key to
Comprehension or not?

This is an age old question debated by both ends of the
educational spectrum. The more traditional side claims students need to sit
down and memorize the definitions of these words and they will be able to read and
comprehend what is being taught. The other side of spectrum states that writing
down definitions is pointless because there is not learning taking place just
rote memorization. So what can you do to help comprehension if vocabulary is
            In the
video clip below, Richard Lavoie in FAT city explains what is crucial to
comprehension. It is quite eye opening and can be used not only with a Special
Needs student, but students from all walks of life.
            After you
see the video, it is apparent that BACKGROUND is the key to comprehension and
educational success. In educational and early childhood studies it is proven
that on average in a welfare home the average amount of words heard in each
hour of every day is around 600 words an hour. In a professional home the
average is quite different an incredible 2100 words per hour. In a 10 hour day,
that is a total of 15,000 words per day difference. If you multiply that over
the course of a child’s life before Kindergarten that comes to a total of 27
Million words less. If the key to reading comprehension is background, then
these students need to have more background knowledge which comes in form of life
experiences and language spoken.  

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