Developing Vocabulary and Oral Language in Young Children

Rebecca D. Silverman and Anna M. Hartranft

HardcoverPaperbacke-bookprint + e-book
November 17, 2014
ISBN 9781462518258
Price: $82.00
258 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
November 18, 2014
ISBN 9781462517886
Price: $32.00
258 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
December 3, 2014
Price: $28.00
258 Pages
print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (PDF) ?
Price: $60.00 $35.20
258 Pages

This book presents the most effective instructional strategies for promoting vocabulary growth in the early grades, when the interdependence of word learning and oral language development is especially strong. The authors guide teachers in choosing the best materials and in fostering home-school connections, and share six key principles for building vocabulary. Included are guiding questions; text boxes connecting vocabulary to the Common Core State Standards; examples from real teachers; reproducible checklists, rubrics, and other tools; and an appendix of additional vocabulary resources. Purchasers get access to a Web page where they can download and print the reproducible materials in a convenient 8½“ x 11” size.

This title is part of The Essential Library of PreK-2 Literacy Series, edited by Sharon Walpole and Michael C. McKenna.

“This book provides everything you want to know about vocabulary for young children—as well as everything you didn’t know you wanted to know. I can’t think of anything about vocabulary acquisition, instruction, and assessment that is not included. A hallmark of the book is the suggestions the authors offer about how teachers can incorporate vocabulary development in typical primary-grades reading and writing instruction.”

—Isabel L. Beck, PhD, University of Pittsburgh (Emerita)

“Silverman and Hartranft makes it easy to understand the importance of vocabulary development in young students. Their in-depth explanations of several research-based strategies will help build students’ vocabularies, while real-life examples make each of the strategies easily applicable in daily teaching practices. As an early childhood educator, I recommend this book to anyone seeking to deepen their knowledge of vocabulary development and enhance their instruction.”

—Lisa Manna, kindergarten teacher, Port Towns Elementary School, Prince George’s County, Maryland

“I love this book—it is the right book at the right time! The centrality of language to literacy success is now widely recognized, but this is the first book for aspiring early childhood teachers that discusses language and reading in a way that builds conceptual understanding while providing research-based guidance for practice. It is already on the reading list for my course.”

—David K. Dickinson, EdD, Margaret Cowan Chair of Education and Associate Dean for Research, Peabody College of Education, Vanderbilt University

“The best time to help children bolster their vocabularies—particularly children who enter school with vocabularies weaker than those of their peers—is as soon as possible. In this solidly researched and well-crafted book, Silverman and Hartranft focus their considerable expertise on vocabulary instruction for children in PreK-2. Among the many strengths of the book are its focus on both breadth and depth, its myriad classroom examples, and its strong research base.”

—Michael F. Graves, PhD, University of Minnesota (Emeritus)

Table of Contents

1. The Importance of Vocabulary Breadth and Depth

2. Principles of Effective Vocabulary Instruction

3. Explicit and Extended Vocabulary Instruction

4. Word Learning and Word Use in a Language Rich Environment

5. Word Awareness and Independent Word Learning

6. Assessing Vocabulary Knowledge

7. Differentiating Vocabulary Instruction

8. Using Multimedia to Support Word Learning in the Digital Age

9. Home–School Connections to Support Word Learning

10. Implementing Vocabulary Instruction in Prekindergarten through Second-Grade Classrooms

Appendix. Resources for Vocabulary Instruction

About the Authors

Rebecca D. Silverman, EdD, is Associate Professor in the College of Education at the University of Maryland, where she teaches classes and conducts research on reading and writing in early childhood and elementary school classrooms. Her research focuses on vocabulary and comprehension of diverse children, particularly English language learners and children from low socioeconomic backgrounds. A former elementary school teacher, Dr. Silverman has led two federally funded grants focused on vocabulary and comprehension and has published studies in journals including the Journal of Educational Psychology, Contemporary Educational Psychology, Reading Research Quarterly, and the Elementary School Journal.

Anna M. Hartranft, MEd,is Faculty Research Associate in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education at the University of Maryland, where she also serves as Project Director for the Reading Buddies Research Project. Her research focuses on the instruction and inclusion of students with disabilities and their peers in the areas of reading and writing. She has managed locally and federally funded projects, contributed to presentations at national conferences, and coauthored publications in journals such as Reading Research Quarterly and the Elementary School Journal.


PreK–2 classroom teachers; reading specialists and coaches; special educators; teacher educators and graduate students

Course Use

May serve as a supplemental text in graduate-level courses such as Early Literacy, Elementary Reading Methods, Teaching Vocabulary, and Word Study