Academic Vocabulary Learning in First Through Third Grade in Low-Income Schools: Effects of Automated Supplemental Instruction Purpose This study investigated cumulative effects of language learning, specifically whether prior vocabulary knowledge or special education status moderated the effects of academic vocabulary instruction in high-poverty schools. Method Effects of a supplemental intervention targeting academic vocabulary in first through third grades were evaluated with 241 students (6–9 ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 09, 2017
Academic Vocabulary Learning in First Through Third Grade in Low-Income Schools: Effects of Automated Supplemental Instruction
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Howard Goldstein
    University of South Florida, Tampa
  • Robyn A. Ziolkowski
    University of Northern Colorado, Greeley
  • Kathryn E. Bojczyk
    The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC
  • Ana Marty
    Florida State University, Tallahassee
  • Naomi Schneider
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Jayme Harpring
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Christa D. Haring
    University of South Florida, Tampa
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Howard Goldstein: hgoldstein@usf.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond
    Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond×
  • Editor: Geralyn Timler
    Editor: Geralyn Timler×
Article Information
Development / School-Based Settings / Professional Issues & Training / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 09, 2017
Academic Vocabulary Learning in First Through Third Grade in Low-Income Schools: Effects of Automated Supplemental Instruction
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, November 2017, Vol. 60, 3237-3258. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-17-0100
History: Received March 16, 2017 , Revised June 10, 2017 , Accepted June 29, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, November 2017, Vol. 60, 3237-3258. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-17-0100
History: Received March 16, 2017; Revised June 10, 2017; Accepted June 29, 2017

Purpose This study investigated cumulative effects of language learning, specifically whether prior vocabulary knowledge or special education status moderated the effects of academic vocabulary instruction in high-poverty schools.

Method Effects of a supplemental intervention targeting academic vocabulary in first through third grades were evaluated with 241 students (6–9 years old) from low-income families, 48% of whom were retained for the 3-year study duration. Students were randomly assigned to vocabulary instruction or comparison groups.

Results Curriculum-based measures of word recognition, receptive identification, expressive labeling, and decontextualized definitions showed large effects for multiple levels of word learning. Hierarchical linear modeling revealed that students with higher initial Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test–Fourth Edition scores (Dunn & Dunn, 2007) demonstrated greater word learning, whereas students with special needs demonstrated less growth in vocabulary.

Conclusion This model of vocabulary instruction can be applied efficiently in high-poverty schools through an automated, easily implemented adjunct to reading instruction in the early grades and holds promise for reducing gaps in vocabulary development.

Acknowledgments
This research was partially supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences (R324L060023) awarded to Florida State University. We gratefully acknowledge the cooperation and assistance of the staff, students, and parents in Leon County Schools. We greatly appreciate the assistance of Ann O'Connell with statistical analyses.
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