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Increasing the Vocabulary Knowledge of Kindergartners in Economically Disadvantaged Urban Schools

McCoy, Giselle (2020) Increasing the Vocabulary Knowledge of Kindergartners in Economically Disadvantaged Urban Schools. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This action research project was designed to investigate the effect of a vocabulary intervention on the vocabulary knowledge of kindergarteners from economically disadvantaged urban communities. The participants were eight African-American kindergarten girls. This intervention was designed to address the features of robust vocabulary instruction which include (a) selecting Tier 2 words, (b) providing student-friendly explanations of the words, (c) contextualizing the words within a read-aloud text, and (d) offering interactive activities that engage students in using the words in multiple contexts. The students of the study completed the pretests, posttests, and delayed posttests on the 16 words selected for instruction. Statistically speaking, there was a significant positive difference in the behavior of all the students pre- and posttest. The analysis of the post-test and the delayed posttest scores revealed that there were no statistically significant differences, indicating the students retained their understanding of the target word meanings. This study provides evidence that young children can learn sophisticated vocabulary if instruction is designed to support them.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
McCoy, GiselleGAM69@pitt.eduGAM690000-0002-1018-083X
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorKucan, Lindalkucan@pitt.edulkucan
Committee ChairSobolak, Michellemjsobolak@pitt.edumjsobolak
Committee MemberRimbey,
Date: 7 July 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 24 April 2020
Approval Date: 7 July 2020
Submission Date: 21 June 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 61
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: Kindergarten, Vocabulary instruction, Economically disadvantaged, Urban communities, Urban schools, Urban teaching, Internalize word meaning, Tier 2 words, Teach Tier 2 words, Teach sophisticated vocabulary.
Additional Information: alternate email address:
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2020 19:20
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2020 19:20


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