Explicit Contextualized Vocabulary Instruction

Explicit Contextualized Vocabulary Instruction (ECV) 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.

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

Visit our website at Explicit Contextualized Vocabulary Instruction

  • Descriptions of the importance of vocabulary instruction for DHH students.
  • Purpose and procedures for the V4S strategies:
    • Fast Mapping
    • Interactive Book Reading
    • Conversation
    • Explicit and Conceptual Extension Activities
  • Access to 14 ready-to-go sample units that teachers can immediately print out and use with their students. New units will be added as the bank grows.
  • Procedures for creating new units.
  • Scoring procedures for measuring student progress on word and definition knowledge.

Research conducted by the CLAD team at the University of Arizona 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.


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 Research, 42, 227-275. doi: 10.1080/1086296X.2010.503551