Keys to Literacy’s Word Knowledge Checklist helps Spanish students master new vocabulary words
BHS- World Language
January 16, 2020
In Ms. DiCroce’s Spanish IV classes, students read part of a short story by Jorge Luis Borges, titled “El otro.” The story explores the theme of dreams versus reality, and includes a variety of words that are new for students. Before reading, students completed the Word Knowledge Checklist to get a feel for the new vocabulary words they would encounter in the reading. Students take a minute or two to read the list (or teachers can read the list to students) on the left-hand side, and check off the box under the column that corresponds to their level of understanding of the word. They check the left column if they know the word well (Translation: I can explain the word, I can use the word), the middle column if they can make an association with the word (Translation: I have seen or I have heard the word; I can associate it with some situation), or the right column if it is a completely new word for them (Translation: I have never seen or I don’t understand the word). After, as a class and with some charades shenanigans provided by the teacher, students come up with their own definition of the word or synonyms for the word in the right-hand column (Translation: notes). The Word Knowledge Checklist introduces thematic vocabulary that students need to understand the material they will next encounter. In defining new vocabulary words with language they have already mastered, students further solidify their comprehension of old vocabulary as well!