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Education Bookcast

Oct 29, 2020

In 2018 and 2019 I worked for an education technology start-up in London called Mrs Wordsmith. The company produces materials for developing literacy and augmenting vocabulary among first-language learners of English. While I was there, I had the chance to dig into a lot of research about vocabulary and literacy.

I gradually came over to the view that, in a sense, all learning is the development of literacy. (Or, adding some caveats, all non-mathematical academic learning is the development of literacy.) When we learn a new field, we become "literate" within that field, because previously we would not have understood its literature due to a lack of domain-relevant vocabulary and content knowledge. Just try reading academic papers outside of your domain of expertise.

Vocabulary Development is the first in a series of podcast episodes about literacy. Steven Stahl is one of the big names in this field, and in this short pamphlet he puts across the most important information about vocabulary for teachers.

The book is very short, but I manage to turn it into a very long episode. This is mostly because I have much to comment. I will be working through books on literacy and vocabulary on the podcast, gradually adding layers of information, until we will finally be ready to tackle the most detailed books on the subject.

Enjoy the episode.