NOTE: This page focuses on the Word Level. See the ACADEMIC LANGUAGE page for Sentence and Discourse Levels


This resource contains Vocabulary and Reading strategies effective in diverse classes with ELLs compiled by Jeanette Gordon, See also a strategy for teaching

(Averil Coxhead, 2000):a list of 570 high-incidence and high-utility academic words for Secondary School, Higher Education, Career70% of these words are Spanish Cognates, 50% are high frequency words in Spanish

Sublist families of the Academic Word List Word families for each set of words on the Academic Word List.

Academic Word list resources: list by sublist or in alphabetical order. Definitions, plus links to cards and activities. Don't miss the activities that get progressively more complex.

Signal Words List of words that signal what's coming in reading and writing. It is helpful for ELLs to translate these words in their home language. Fry, E. B., Kress, J. E., & Fountoukidis, D.L. (1993). The reading teacher’s book of lists, 3rd edition.

Glossary Terms That Appear in the Illinois Reading Assessment FrameworksIllinois educators use these definitions as a guide when developing test items. Glossary Terms That Appear in the Illinois Mathematics Assessment Frameworks

Learning Chocolate: Vocabulary Learning Platform Vocabulary Images for ELLs with sound. See other languages.

English: Vocabulary Guide This site provides pictures for survival and content vocabulary accompanied by the pronunciation of each. Students select the picture, hear the word, and see it written.

The 6-Step Process for Building Academic Vocabulary The 6-Step BAV process is a popular research-based process by Marzano. See the video for an explanation plus multiple resources.

Vocabulary Games Blank Templates Blank templates so teachers and students can add their own words and explanations or pictures. Some games have two template options. Playing games is the 6th step of the 6-Step BAV process. PowerPoint Games Templates, some require no editing.

Visual Thesaurus
Access a chart that demonstrates how the Visual Thesaurus can help you implement Marzano's six steps of vocabulary instruction.

Piture Word Inductive Model PWIM is one of the strategies collected by Instructional Strategies Online. It is an ELL-friendly strategy.

Vocabulary Development Resources collected by West Virginia Dept. of Ed. Be sure to see 12 Powerful Words resource.

VOCABULARY VIDEOS See the videos presented by the Virginia Dept of Ed. of Middle School Teachers sharing vocabulary strategies.

Basic alphabetical list from Colorin Colorado This link provides cognates in Spanish

Quizlet This is a free vocabulary study resource. Teachers can select from the vocabulary sets across the disciplines. OR Teachers and their students can create their own study flash cards. Students can listen to the word and the definition. Games and Quizzes are automatically generated from the cards. Cards can be made in multiple languages. Add images to the cards for ELLs.

Working on Vocabulary with 21st Century Tools! The site provides links to many free online resources, including videos that support vocabulary on national assessments and many online vocabulary resources. Be careful when downloading a free resource to avoid the ASK toolbar etc. Adds appear, but many of the resources are great. In the sidebar see resources for each step of Marzano's 6-Step Process for Building Academic Vocabulary

Academic Vocabulary for 5-7th graders for ELLs in Texas. Helpful vocabulary strategies and content lists with Spanish translations

Dead Tired Words RIP

Multiple Meaning Word List

Concept Learning Bricks for Language Arts for upper elementary grades. See links to math Concept Building Bricks, free resources from The Positive Engagement Project Free resources prepared by and for teachers by the Positive Engagement Project. See The Learning Wall, Concept Building Bricks for Math


VERBAL DISCOURSE ELEMENTARY VIDEOS Some great examples of students in meaningful, challenging, academic discourse.

Kate Kinsella Professional Development Learning Videos

Get into the Act! Professional Learning Video Presentation Series, lecture, video, classroom resources


Word Generation

FREE Quality Vocabulary Resources for teaching the academic toolkit words that are used across the curriculum. The program was designed for Junior High, but is appropriate for ELL in high school. Word Generation in Boston Public Schools: Natural History of a Literacy intervention, Catherine Snow and Joshua Lawrence.



WEBINAR: Orientation to Teaching Academic Language to ELs, Gordon and Keppler, IRC

Teacher Applications of Vocabulary Strategies from other classes

Vocabulary Applications Innovative Methods 2010.doc
Vocabulary Applications Innovative Methods 2010.doc
Vocabulary Applications Innovative Methods 2010.do