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Inside Words: Tools for Teaching Academic Vocabulary

Author and Bio

For over 35 years, Dr. Janet Allen has explored and examined the realm of adolescent literacy. Dr. Allen developed her passionate for literacy while teaching as a high school English teacher in Maine. After 20 years, she relocated to the University of Central Florida, where she taught reading, writing and English. Dr. Allen is currently a full-time researcher, writer and consultant in the field of adolescent literacy.

Her passion and expertise are exemplified in her many professional development books. There's Room for Me Here: Literacy Workshop in the Middle School, Yellow Brick Road: Shared and Guided Paths to Independent Reading, and Inside Words: Tools for Teaching Academic Vocabulary Grades, 4-12, are among her numerous professional books.

Summary of Book

Teachers of all subject areas would agree that vocabulary instruction is a vital part of their curriculum. Yet many teachers struggle with how to effectively teach academic vocabulary words in a meaningful way. As a result, students fail to retain key content word meanings beyond the end of the week and rarely add these key words to their personal vocabulary. Janet Allen's book, Inside Words, offers tools for teaching academic vocabulary to students in grades four to twelve.

Janet Allen's book is a useful collection of vocabulary strategies organized alphabetically. The table of contents provides a list of the strategies recommended by instructional use. The book contains a clear description and example of each strategy along with "when and why" to use the strategy. In addition, research notes offer proof of efficacy and options for further reading.

The appendix and included CD offer more tools for vocabulary instruction. Worksheets in both English and Spanish for each strategy and printable graphic organizers complete the tool kit. This book is a wonderful resource for all teachers who strive to effectively teach academic vocabulary.

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