EFFECTIVE READ-ALOUD PRACTICES: DEVELOPING ELEMENTARY STUDENTS’ VOCABULARY KNOWLEDGE THROUGH EFFECTIVE CLASSROOM READ-ALOUD PRACTICES
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The Ontario Ministry of Education (2003a, 2003b) mandates a daily teacher-led oral reading, known as a “read-aloud”. A read-aloud is an oral delivery of a written text that involves teacher modeled or facilitated reading comprehension strategies before, during and after the reading (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2003a). Providing students with new vocabulary is a purpose for reading-aloud that is outlined in the “Early Reading Strategy: The Report of the Expert Panel in Early Reading in Ontario” (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2003b). As an integral part of literacy education, reading-aloud lacks specific instructional guidelines in key reading documents, and thus has the potential to vary in delivery and effectiveness. The identification of vocabulary as a subcomponent skill of, and correlate to, reading comprehension (Biemiller, 2005; Oullette & Beers, 2001; Wise et al., 2007) is the justification for focusing on students’ word knowledge. A literature review on the connection between vocabulary and reading comprehension will demonstrate the research significance for using a read-aloud to develop student vocabulary. A literature review describing read-aloud practices demonstrates that specific classroom practices correlate with increased vocabulary development. These recommendations will be used to create a framework with which teachers can use their Ontario Curriculum Expectations as the foundation for their instruction, while ensuring a clear focus on the development of their student’s vocabulary knowledge.