Tools for Building a Productive Academic Vocabulary Toolkit

60 Minutes

Productive word knowledge, the ability to competently use a word in speech and writing, is pivotal to school and workplace achievement. Drawing on scholarship and extensive classroom experience, Dr. Kinsella introduces research-based instructional principles and practices to prepare English learners for the vocabulary demands of academic interaction, text analysis, and constructed response. She provides a schema for prioritizing vocabulary for robust instruction and illustrates informed word selection with practice texts. She demonstrates explicit instruction of central concepts and topic words as well as high-utility word families (e.g., compare, comparison) essential for advanced communication. Dr. Kinsella explains how to design effective application tasks and brief, daily formative assessments that advance word knowledge. Participants receive digital and print resources, including sample lessons, note-taking guide formats, and competency-aligned word lists to support implementation.