Authors: St. John P, Vance M
Title: Evaluation of a principled approach to vocabulary learning in mainstream classes
Source: Child Language Teaching and Therapy 2014 30(3): 255-271
Year: 2014
Research Design: Case Series

Research indicates that a significant number of children enter primary school with insufficient vocabulary knowledge. This study investigates whether a small group daily word learning programme delivered by the class teacher can improve word learning in young children.Eighteen children, aged five to six years, with English as an additional language or poor language development, attending three schools in an area of social deprivation, participated in the study. Class teachers implemented a principled approach for teaching and learning vocabulary that included the development of word-learning strategies. Vocabulary knowledge was assessed pre- and post-intervention using a non-standardized, study-specific measure that compared taught and untaught vocabulary. Receptive vocabulary was also measured using standardized assessment. Pupil and teacher questionnaires were presented before and after the intervention. There were significant changes in children’s knowledge of both taught and untaught words, with more change in knowledge of taught words. Some children also showed significant change on standardized measurement of vocabulary. Class teachers reported changes in their practice and some children reported using a wider range of strategies to learn words.

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