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Effects of 'Word Generation' Strongest for ELLs

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The positive effects of lessons in academic English from Word Generation, which I introduced to you on this blog a couple of weeks ago, are strongest for English-language learners, according to an article published at edweek.org today by my colleague Debra Viadero. (By the way, check out Debbie's new blog at EdWeek, Inside School Research.)

After 12 weeks of lessons, students in Boston public schools who participated in the program scored as well on vocabulary tests as students who didn't participate who were 2 years older, according to the article. And the impact was strongest among ELLs.

What's interesting to me is that reading experts are viewing Word Generation as successful for both ELLs and all students.

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Just like we tell students studying for the SATs, the vocabulary we learn is a result of life long learning in conversation and reading. I would be very concerned about how the students were taught and and what was expected on the test. It could be word regurgitation not true increases in students' vocabulary. From Boston? Very suspect. The students should really be interviewed in non threatening interviews to see how they felt about these vocabulary lessons. Probably about as useful as reading the dictionary.

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