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Tier 2 Words: Vocabulary & Activities

Instructor: Matthew Hamel

Matt has degrees in Journalism and Business and has taught a variety of courses at high schools and universities around the world.

Tier 2 words are general academic words that are found in a variety of subjects. This lesson outlines both vocabulary and activities that teachers can use to teach tier 2 words in the classroom.

Tier 2 Words: Vocabulary and Activities

As students progress academically, their understanding of tier 2 words becomes increasingly important. The words in this category are generally more abstract and descriptive than basic vocabulary, and usually appear more frequently in writing. Additionally, tier 2 words may have multiple meanings and be used across a variety of subjects. For example, notice how the word ''set'' is used in the following sentences.

  • My mother asked me to set the table for dinner.
  • The fickle actor was always late to the set.
  • My grandmother has an extensive set of decorative plates.

Tier 2 Word List

The word list below is comprised of some of the most common words found in academic texts. It is a good starting point and can be used with the activities in this lesson, but you should encourage your students to add words they come across in the course of their studies. All word forms and tenses can be used for these exercises. The first few have been included for your convenience.

  • Analyze (analysis, analyst, analysts, analytic, analytical, analytically, analyzed, analyzes, analyzing)
  • Approach (approachable, approached, approaches, approaching, unapproachable)
  • Assess (assessable, assessed, assesses, assessing, assessment, assessments, reassess, reassessed, reassessing, reassessment)
  • Assume
  • Authority
  • Available
  • Benefit
  • Concept
  • Consist
  • Constitute
  • Context
  • Contract
  • Create
  • Data
  • Define
  • Derive
  • Distribute
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Estimate
  • Evident
  • Export
  • Factor
  • Finance
  • Formula
  • Function
  • Identity
  • Income
  • Indicate
  • Individual
  • Interpret
  • Involve
  • Issues
  • Labor
  • Legal
  • Legislate
  • Major
  • Method
  • Occur
  • Percent
  • Period
  • Policy
  • Principle
  • Proceed
  • Process
  • Require
  • Research
  • Respond
  • Role
  • Section
  • Sector
  • Significant
  • Similar
  • Source
  • Specific
  • Structure
  • Theory
  • Vary

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