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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Investigating Word Learning at the Intersection of Spontaneous and Scientific Concepts
by Heron, Mary Lou, Ph.D., Temple University, 2018, 154; 10791207
Abstract (Summary)

This study incorporated an intervention that combined discussion and sentence writing to promote vocabulary development. Fourth grade students were assigned to either an intervention or control condition. Teachers in the intervention classrooms used a word learning protocol that was designed to provide students with student-friendly definitions and a minimum of 15 exposures to each target word through both receptive and expressive tasks. These tasks called upon students to begin to make connections between spontaneous and scientific concepts to support their word learning. Teachers in control classrooms followed instructional routines as specified in their school’s reading series. Multiple choice assessments from the district adopted reading series for vocabulary and comprehension along with a researcher-developed sentence writing task were used to measure growth in word knowledge. On the multiple choice vocabulary assessment, the intervention group outperformed the control group on one of the three weekly assessments from the reading series. There were no differences in comprehension scores on weekly reading tests across groups. On the sentence writing task, results indicated that the intervention group outperformed the control group with the intervention group showing a statistically significant difference in the rate at which they learned words.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Smith, Michael W.
Commitee: Brooks, Wanda, Hindman, Annemarie H., Schifter, Catherine C.
School: Temple University
Department: Literacy & Learners
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 79/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Language arts, Middle School education, Education, Elementary education
Keywords: Teaching vocabulary, Vygotsky's concept development
Publication Number: 10791207
ISBN: 978-0-355-95467-8
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