Item Details

Vocabulary Acquisition in Children With Typically Developing Language and Low Language Skills: Comparing Embedded and Explicit Vocabulary Instructional Methods

Capellini, Cara S.
Thesis/Dissertation; Online
Capellini, Cara S.
Pullen, Paige
Lloyd, John
Smolkin, Laura
Kneedler, Rebecca
Children who enter kindergarten with low oral language skills are at great risk for reading problems, especially in the areas of vocabulary and comprehension. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of two instructional vocabulary methods of storybook reading with children who exhibit typically developing language skills and those that exhibit low language skills. Children with low language skills have difficulty understanding, remembering, and retrieving novel vocabulary words, thus helping them find effective ways to acquire vocabulary is essential. Two types of vocabulary instruction, embedded vocabulary instruction and explicit vocabulary instruction, were compared. Embedded vocabulary instruction is a method in which the storybook reader provides a simple definition of a vocabulary word within the context of the story while explicit vocabulary instruction provides the direct teaching of targeted words with contextual and definitional information, multiple exposures to targeted words in varied contexts, and the discussion of words related to students’ experiences. Researcher developed vocabulary assessment methods are more sensitive to vocabulary growth than standardized assessments (National Reading Panel, 2000), so participants’ knowledge of targeted vocabulary words were assessed through the use of a Researcher Developed Vocabulary Assessment (RDVA). Results showed that students with typically developing language skills acquire more vocabulary than students with low language skills across both instructional conditions (embedded method and explicit method). Students with typically developing language skills and low language skills both acquired more words taught with the explicit method of vocabulary instruction than the words taught with the embedded method of vocabulary instruction. Students in both groups were able to demonstrate similar receptive vocabulary knowledge on the RDVA. Students with typically developing language skills were better able to demonstrate their knowledge expressively. This investigation addressed questions that may assist teachers in planning vocabulary instruction for students with low language skills.
Date Received
University of Virginia, Curry School of Education, PHD (Doctor of Philosophy), 2010
Published Date
PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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