Have you heard of the fourth-grade slump in reading? Research shows that many students experience a decline in their reading ability around grade four, and this decline is linked to the size of their vocabulary. Studies indicate the following:

“Students with low vocabulary development were able to maintain their overall reading test scores at expected levels through grade four, but their mean scores for word recognition and word meaning began to slip as words became more abstract, technical, and literary.”(Chall, Jacobs, and Baldwin, 1990)

As students become older and more proficient in reading, the text they’re reading becomes more complex. Perhaps the greatest factor in the complexity of a text is vocabulary. Rich vocabulary makes text deeper, more exciting, more meaningful—and, yes, more difficult to read. If students are not actively building a robust vocabulary and working on vocabulary acquisition skills from the start, they risk falling behind at this crucial stage in their reading development.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that all Read Naturally programs incorporate a strong emphasis on vocabulary development. Because we understand the crucial role vocabulary plays in reading comprehension, we have relentlessly ensured that our reading solutions foster substantial vocabulary growth at every level—always in research-based, meaningful, and student-friendly ways. 

Vocabulary acquisition is at the heart of numerous steps of our strategy. Do you know which ones? Are you aware of the many free vocabulary resources we offer? Do you know the ways you can use our programs to boost your students’ vocabulary growth? Our Educational Consultant, Karen Hunter, gave a free webcast this past week answering these questions and more. Check it out here!

This webcast is 30 minutes well spent for any educator who wishes to stave off an unnecessary decline in students’ reading ability. Karen gives specific instructions in helping your students foster vocabulary development and offers tips, clever ideas, and free resources to help you make the most of your Read Naturally program. Help your students get ahead of vocabulary development so that they don’t fall behind. View the free webcast here

More information about how Read Naturally programs foster vocabulary acquisition is available here. As always, feel free to contact us with specific questions related to vocabulary or any other aspect of your students’ reading development.