Social Studies vocabulary can create serious difficulties and challenges for students. The culture of the day causes even more problems with the increased use of IM’s, TXT language, and abbreviations. I find that many of my students generally are not familiar with the words that we study and they fail to have an understanding of word meanings that are essential to historical study.
One obstacle is word sounds. Students who may lack a precise annunciation ability will unknowingly cause other students to become confused because what was meant to be spoken is not what was heard.
Another obstacle is word difficulty. While this is not unique to the social studies content area it poses difficulty to a specific group of students, struggling readers. Theses students might lack ability to use phonetic strategies, or just may be unable to decode it.
So, how to overcome this hurdle? If research indicates that experience is what enables a learner to build a repertoire of topic related knowledge then I need to find ways of allowing students to do this. I believe this may be one objective for personal development over the summer.
I think we often feel that other teachers have taught something or introduced something that may not have been completely grasped or instructed. Therefore, I must determine to personally bring the experience to students in order to build the vocabulary crucial for student achievement.
Looking to incorporate some new technology strategies to overcome this obstacle. Any and all suggestions are welcome.