More Than Teachable Moments: Enhancing Oral Vocabulary Instruction in Your Classroom


  • Susan B. Neuman,

  • Kathleen Roskos

  • The department editors welcome reader comments. Susan B. Neuman is a professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA; e-mail Kathleen Roskos is a professor at John Carroll University, University Heights, Ohio, USA; e-mail


This article describes both the benefits and the challenges of using “teachable moments” as a primary strategy for oral vocabulary instruction. It argues that children will need more intentional oral vocabulary instruction, right from the very beginning, if they are to develop the academic and content-rich vocabulary necessary to be successful in the upper grades.