Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An Investigation of Read-alouds, Classroom Interactions, and Guided Play as Supports for Vocabulary Learning in Preschool
by LaGamba, Elizabeth S., Ed.D., University of Pittsburgh, 2018, 91; 13819972
Abstract (Summary)

A large body of research has established the existence of a gap in vocabulary knowledge that occurs largely along socioeconomic lines, is evident prior to age two, and continues to widen as children age. Because research has shown that early vocabulary knowledge supports present and later text comprehension, interventions for supporting preschoolers’ vocabulary development are being explored through research and in classrooms.

The present study sought to build upon prior research to explore the impact of two intervention conditions, rich instruction + more rich instruction (RI) and rich instruction + play (+P), on preschoolers’ knowledge of targeted Tier 2 vocabulary words selected from read-alouds of children’s literature. The study included 28 preschool students in two full-day, state-funded classrooms, mean age=4.32. A within-subjects design was used to allow all students to experience both conditions by randomly assigning target words to each condition.

Findings suggest that participation in both the rich instruction + more rich instruction (RI) and rich instruction +play (+P) conditions increased preschoolers’ learning of targeted Tier 2 vocabulary words. Furthermore, students demonstrated deeper word learning in the +P condition as compared to the RI condition. There is some evidence to suggest that preschoolers may have been more engaged in the classroom activities in the +P condition than when they were in the RI condition. Implications for choosing target words for preschool students are also discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kucan, Linda
Commitee: Hirsh-Pasek, Kathy, Kucan, Linda, Roskos, Kathleen, Sobolak, Michelle
School: University of Pittsburgh
Department: Instruction and Learning
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 80/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Language arts, Early childhood education, Reading instruction
Keywords: Covabulary assessments, Play, Pre-K, Preschool, Read-alouds, Vocabulary
Publication Number: 13819972
ISBN: 978-0-438-77719-4
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