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Academic Vocabulary

The CCSS require a focus on academic vocabulary that is prevalent in more complex texts as well as domain-specific words. Academic vocabulary (described in more detail as Tier 2 words in Appendix A of the CCSS) includes those words that readers will find in all types of complex texts from different disciplines.

Some students, including some English language learners, will also need support in mastering high-frequency words that are not Tier 2 words but are essential to reading grade-level text. Since teachers will often not have the time to teach explicitly all of the high-frequency words required, materials should make it possible for students to learn the words’ meaning on their own, providing such things as student-friendly definitions for high-frequency words whose meanings cannot be inferred from the context. It can also be useful for English language learners to highlight explicitly and link cognates of key words with other languages.

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