My students were often overwhelmed with content-specific vocabulary. The traditional model of vocabulary instruction promotes memorization for a test, but doesn’t encourage a true understanding of concepts.. Choose your words carefully! In other words, rather than expecting students to learn 10 to 20 words each week, take time to teach critical concepts. In Building Academic Vocabulary (2005), Robert Marzano states that of the wealth of vocabulary terms embedded for each subject, some are critically important, some are useful but not critical, and others are interesting but not very useful. That is a helpful way to con- sider your vocabulary. Prioritize the terms and/or concepts that are critical for students to comprehend your content.