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An Investigation of Read-Alouds, Classroom Interactions, and Guided Play as Supports for Vocabulary Learning in Preschool

LaGamba, Elizabeth (2018) An Investigation of Read-Alouds, Classroom Interactions, and Guided Play as Supports for Vocabulary Learning in Preschool. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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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 Two 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 Two 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.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
LaGamba, Elizabethesl34@pitt.eduesl34
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKucan, Lindalkucan@pitt.edulkucan
Committee MemberSobolak, Michellemjsobolak@pitt.edumjsobolak
Committee MemberHirsh-Pasek,
Committee MemberRoskos,
Date: 24 September 2018
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 24 April 2018
Approval Date: 24 September 2018
Submission Date: 21 June 2018
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 90
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: vocabulary preschool play vocabulary assessments read-alouds Pre-K
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2018 19:09
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2018 19:09


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