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‘We Did Vocabulary Final Yr’

“We did vocabulary final yr.”

I’ve the privilege to talk to a number of lecturers and college leaders about vocabulary, accessing the varsity curriculum, together with the challenges of creating a distinction in serving to develop the tutorial language of our pupils. 

There’s a pure trajectory I observe, whereat faculties recognise it’s a problem for his or her pupils and they also make it’s CPD precedence. It then options prominently in coaching days for that college yr. Too usually although, it seems at a few coaching days earlier than a brand new focus quickly supplants it, with hyperlinks being ignored. It may well shortly develop into the outdated information ‘we did final yr’.

As an alternative, we should always ask: how does our coaching session result in particular behavior modifications within the classroom? How will these be sustained six months/twelve months from now?

Viviane Robinson describes the problem nicely when she articulates sustainable change at school “entails the unsure and complicated means of integrating and aligning new practices with lots of of present practices.” (from ‘Scale back Change to Enhance Enchancment’).

If we contemplate ‘new’ methods, reminiscent of foregrounding Tier 2 vocabulary, or trialling the ‘Frayer mannequin’, we have to contemplate how they sync with present, long-standing educating habits. It sounds straightforward to only trial a brand new method, however sticking with it may be devilishly difficult!

How do we all know have ‘performed vocabulary’ nicely?

“The aim of analysis is to not show however to enhance.”

Stufflebeam et al., ‘Academic Analysis and Resolution Making’

We will be vulnerable to quietly drop our new methods six months after our coaching as a result of it proved too difficult to kind and maintain a brand new behavior. Both that, or we transfer onto the following faculty yr below the optimistic assumption that a number of good modifications to our observe have been sustained.

Evaluating our efforts can assist inform and enhance our selections, in addition to higher sustaining our efforts. First, we may do with evaluating our college context (what drawback are we really fixing?); second, we will consider the method of educating (what’s altering within the classroom?); third, we will consider the result (what influence might our CPD be having on pupils’ outcomes?). 

Too usually, we will focus practically solely on the top of yr knowledge outcomes. We are able to miss these essential and significant behaviour shifts within the classroom.

After we deal with evaluating the educating practices, we will intention to determine ‘main indicators’ of trainer, and pupil, behaviours that might have arisen from our CPD days, or associated coaching and planning. 

I usually pose these following questions after I do vocabulary coaching as a starter for potential ‘main indictors’ of fixing observe within the classroom: 

  • Are there extra detailed and ‘tutorial’ pupil explanations?
  • Is there extra prolonged dialogue?
  • Are there extra questions on vocabulary?
  • Are there extra examples of ‘phrase consciousness’?
  • Are there extra vocabulary edits in pupils’ books?
  • Is the written expression in pupils’ books extra subtle?
  • Are there extra trainer questions on vocabulary information?
  • Is there a ‘phrase wealthy’ local weather within the classroom?

After all, ‘tutorial’, ‘phrase consciousness’ or ‘phrase wealthy’ would have to be well-defined and understood by all lecturers, if we had been to count on to see them enacted within the classroom. However the important thing right here is that we search to look at trainer practices which can be significant and which will assist us zero-in on what is absolutely altering and being assimilated into trainer habits because of our trainer coaching. It should seemingly show extra helpful and useable for varsity enchancment than any finish of yr outcomes autopsy.

Let’s then do extra bettering than proving.

Invariably, after we higher consider our work, we recognise we seemingly have to maintain and proceed our CPD efforts past the top of the varsity yr, in addition to providing lecturers the required observe on assist and training. In doing so, ‘we did vocabulary final yr’ naturally turns into prolonged so as to add the clause, ‘and this yr we’re constructing on that by…’.