ICYMI: Reading is Cool, originally posted on April 10, 2017, examines how beneficial reading is to vocabulary acquisition, oral articulation, and writing. While it took me a while to realize its merits, I constantly reinforce the importance of reading to my students.
But reminding them about it over and over again makes you little more than a glorified nag, the droning teacher with the trombone sound in Charlie Brown. Instead, we work intensively with context and deciphering words based on it.
Furthermore, I model challenging vocabulary words in class and on their exams. This process, I believe, not only adds to their working vocabulary but also gives them the courage to try using heightened, nonstandard vocabulary.
Because that’s how you improve your vocabulary. By reading, identifying, and using.