Foreword by: Gina Cervetti
Publication Date: October 28, 2022
Series: Language and Literacy Series
Help adolescents learn and use the academic words that will assist them in school and beyond. The author argues that “words worth using” must matter to adolescents’ authentic work in the disciplines and connect to their lived experiences. Rather than using a model of vocabulary instruction that positions students as passive recipients who must simply memorize definitions, Townsend outlines a metalinguistic approach that shows students how to learn words by using them in ways that are meaningful to their identity, language background, and individual interests. The book provides research-based instructional routines to support adolescents as they learn and use new words in their disciplinary learning. It explores how academic vocabulary can position students as “insiders” or “outsiders,” and how culturally sustaining instruction can welcome all students into discovering and using language. Words Worth Using will be a popular resource for teachers who feel stymied by the sheer volume of words they are expected to teach.
Dianna Townsend is a professor of literacy studies at the University of Nevada, Reno.
“This book is built upon research and grounded in teaching practice. It offers a rich, contemporary, and inspiring vision of the development of academic word knowledge, drawing on all we have learned over decades of intervention studies.”
—From the Foreword by Gina Cervetti, associate professor, University of Michigan
“This book gives educators a much-needed perspective that recognizes that the English lexicon is large, but that knowledge about its underlying systems can give adolescents the capacity to make sense of new words and topics. As teachers collaborate with adolescents in uncovering, understanding, and using these systems, students gain the strategies and stance for encountering new words confidently and independently. In this book, Dianna Townsend provides teachers with the means and incentive to give adolescents the gift of multilinguistic awareness.”
—Elfrieda H. Hiebert, president and CEO, TextProject
“This wonderful book takes a deep dive past the notion that vocabulary is just learning word meanings. Through clear and relatable examples, Dianna Townsend explains how interactive explorations of words-in-use lead to the flexible, deep word knowledge students need.”
—Margaret G. McKeown, clinical professor emerita, University of Pittsburgh
Download the appendix as a PDF.