Authors: Lovelace S, Stewart SR
Title: Effects of Robust Vocabulary Instruction and Multicultural Text on the Development of Word Knowledge Among African American Children
Source: American Journal of Speech Language Pathology 2009 18(2): 168-179
Year: 2009
Research Design: Single Case Design

Purpose: To examine the effect of a systematic vocabulary instructional technique in African American 2nd-grade children with below average vocabulary skills. An additional goal was to examine the role of book type in the retention of novel vocabulary words. Method: Using an adapted alternating treatments design, storybooks were used as a source for contextualizing vocabulary words in the context of robust vocabulary training. Five children's productive definitions were used to assess developing word knowledge using a 4-stage continuum ranging from no knowledge to full concept knowledge. Results:Superior word learning for instruction words in comparison with control words replicated across children provided evidence of behavior change that was attributable to robust vocabulary instruction. Gains in word learning were maintained 2 weeks following conclusion of the study. Use of storybooks that displayed sociocultural images and experiences that were similar to versus different from their own did not have a reliable effect on word learning among these African American children. Conclusions: The findings demonstrate the potential impact of robust vocabulary instruction for facilitating vocabulary development in children with below average vocabulary skills. Analysis of the results indicates that the use of the African American book was not a potent influence in facilitating retention of words.

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