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Scholastic Launches Text Talk Vocab. and Comprehension Program for K-3

Posted May 2, 2005
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Scholastic has announced the launch of Text Talk, a research-based vocabulary program for K-3 students designed to build oral vocabulary and comprehension skills through language-rich Talk about Text.

An important goal of Text Talk, according to the announcement, is to help close the "vocabulary gap"—the disparity between children from varying socio-economic backgrounds in terms of the total number of words experienced by the time a child reaches his or her 3rd birthday—since vocabulary development is a critical early literacy skill.

Text Talk was developed by Dr. Isabel Beck, member of the International Reading Association's Reading Hall of Fame, and Dr. Margaret McKeown, a leading researcher in examining the effect of vocabulary instruction on reading comprehension. As required by Reading First legislation, Scholastic's Text Talk helps teachers introduce systematic vocabulary instruction into their curriculum.

Text Talk offers instruction designed to help teachers increase the rate of vocabulary acquisition in the primary grades, with an eye toward helping vocabulary-deficient children catch up early to prevent later reading comprehension difficulties. Text Talk's instructional model, which includes language-rich read-alouds, direct vocabulary instruction, and instructional Talk, helps educators build students' word knowledge and reading comprehension, according to Scholastic's announcement. Text Talk enables instructors to challenge students to actively think about and use vocabulary words, giving children early experiences with spoken words so that when they encounter them later in print they will recognize and understand them.

Each of the three levels of Scholastic's Text Talk includes:

· 20 Read-aloud trade books, selected by the authors to maximize student Talk and to promote comprehension of the Text.
· Adhesive Text Talk Notes that stick to the pages of each read-aloud book, offering point-of-use support and specific instructional language helping teachers engage children in discussions about words and meaning.
· Engaging lesson plans for direct and systematic vocabulary instruction.
· Word Winner Chart, encouraging students to use vocabulary words in daily conversation.
· Lending library to promote continued experiences with read-aloud books.
· Professional development tools, including author research summaries, and an implementation DVD with videos of an expert teacher modeling Text Talk instruction in a real classroom setting.

The program has been proven effective at building vocabulary for all students, and, in particular, for students who enter school with limited vocabulary experiences, the announcement states. According to McKeown and Beck's 2003 research, Text Talk's read-aloud approach yielded positive results regarding language growth. On average, children's verbal responses to questions increased from 2.1 words, prior to the introduction of Text Talk, to 7.65 words after Text Talk's implementation.

More information about Scholastic's Text Talk, including research summaries and program samples, is available at

Source: Scholastic Corporation,

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