Enhancing Adolescents’ Comprehension of Text by Building Vocabulary Knowledge


From the introduction to the article:

Ms. Baxter spends fourth period every day in an eighth-grade general education social studies class where she supports the needs of students with disabilities. She monitors students’ work and checks in with students (Murawski & Swanson, 2001), typically while the social studies teacher presents content-related information through lecture or PowerPoint presentation (Swanson, Wanzek, McCulley et al., 2016). As she goes through her classroom routine, Ms. Baxter reflects on the needs of the students with disabilities. They rarely read. They rarely speak. They are not actively engaged in lessons. She wonders how she can better help these students. At a recent professional development session, Ms. Baxter learned more about the effect of vocabulary instruction on content knowledge (e.g., Goodwin & Ahn, 2010; Swanson, Wanzek, Vaughn et al., 2016; Wanzek, Swanson, Vaughn, Roberts, & Fall, 2016) and broader reading comprehension (e.g., Swanson, Wanzek, Vaughn et al., 2016), and she thinks that she might be able to implement this type of instruction in this co-taught social studies classroom.


Swanson, E., Vaughn, S., & Wexler, J. (2017). Enhancing adolescents’ comprehension of text by building vocabulary knowledge. Teaching Exceptional Children. Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/004005991772077