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Uxbridge High School

Vocabulary consists of the words we understand when we hear or read them and words we speak or write. Knowing a variety of words is important for language development and reading comprehension. A limited vocabulary is usually a “red flag,” indicating a possible language learning disability and reduced literacy skills. This handout discusses how the development of vocabulary will form a part of the learning journey your child will undertake here at Uxbridge High School. Those with mature vocabularies and age-appropriate literacy skills understand and use words from all three tiers. 

Tier 1: Basic Vocabulary 

Tier one consists of the most basic words. These words rarely require direct instruction and typically do not have multiple meanings. Sight words, nouns, verbs, adjectives, and early reading words occur at this level. Examples of tier one words are: book, girl, sad, run, dog, and orange. 

Tier 2: High Frequency/Multiple meaning 

Tier two consists of high frequency words that occur across a variety of domains. That is, these words occur often in mature language situations such as adult conversations and literature, and therefore strongly influence speaking and reading. Tier two words are the most important words for direct instruction because they are good indicators of a student’s progress through school. The following is a list of standards for tier two words: 

•  Important for reading comprehension • Characteristic of mature language users •  Contain multiple meanings • Increased descriptive vocabulary - words that used across a variety of environments allow students to describe concepts in (generalization) a detailed manner 

Tier 3: Subject related 

This is subject specific, academic language that is learnt in each curriculum area