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Tier 2 Words

Many ELA teachers divide vocabulary into three tiers and emphasize teaching words in the second tier. The three word tiers are described as follows:

Tier 1

Tier 1 Words are generally learned through conversation without special academic instruction. Examples include table, happy, and baby.

Tier 2

Tier 2 Words are also called General Academic Words because they are commonly used in books of varying content but are less commonly used orally. Examples include, indicate, context, and analyze.

Some students are further motivated to learn these useful words because they are commonly seen on standardized tests like the ACT® or SAT®*.

Tier 3

Tier 3 Words are either specific to given subject areas or are rarely used. Examples include lien, mitochondria, and progenitor.