Vocabulary 4 Success

Vocabulary 4 Success (V4S) is an approach to content area vocabulary instruction for use with young Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) students. The explicit and in-context instructional strategies are designed to teach students new vocabulary and give them practice in expressing target words.

V4S is adapted from PAVEd for Success: Building Vocabulary and Language Development in Young Learners by Hamilton and Schwanenflugel (2013).

The V4S intervention consists of four main components:

  • Fast Mapping
  • Interactive Book Reading
  • Conversation
  • Extension Activities
    • Drill and Practice
    • Conceptual Activities

Research conducted by the CLAD team shows that DHH children are able to learn the target vocabulary, increase the complexity and accuracy of the word definitions they provide, and also use the target vocabulary spontaneously. The research has yet to be published but links to a presentation with sample data are provided.

The V4s manual includes step by step instructions for developing vocabulary units, and implementing each instructional component. The manual also includes templates for the thematic units and daily lesson plans. The sample thematic units include suggested vocabulary words at three different levels of difficulty, pictures that depict the vocabulary words, child-friendly definitions of the target words, suggested books, questions and prompts for interactive book reading and conversation, and sample plans for extension activities.

Sample Unit on Dental Health

Contact Dr. Shirin Antia at for the manual and sample units.


Antia, S. D., Creamer, C., Rivera, M. C., & Catalano, J. (2015). Vocabulary for Success. Paper presented at the International Congress on the Education of the Deaf, Athens, Greece.


Hamilton, C., & Schwanenflugel, P. J. (2013). PAVEd for Success: Building vocabulary and language development in young learners. Baltimore, MD: Brookes.

Schwanenflugel, P. J., Hamilton, C. E., Neuharth-Pritchett, S., Restrepo, A., Bradley, B. A., & Webb, M. (2010). PAVed for Success: An evaluation of a comprehensive preliteracy program for four-year-old children. Journal of Literacy Reserch, 42, 227-275. doi: 10.1080/1086296X.2010.503551