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A Comparison of Morphemic Analysis and Whole Word Meaning Instruction on Sixth-Grade Students' Knowledge of Prefixes, Taught Words, and Transfer Words

Talerico, Donna Marie (2008) A Comparison of Morphemic Analysis and Whole Word Meaning Instruction on Sixth-Grade Students' Knowledge of Prefixes, Taught Words, and Transfer Words. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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An eight-day instructional vocabulary study was conducted to evaluate two methods of instruction for prefixed words for two methods, Morphemic Analysis and Whole Word Meaning. Seventy-five sixth-grade students from a rural middle school were part of this study. The Morphemic Analysis and Whole Word Meaning approaches were similar in a number of ways. Instruction consisted of eight lessons, six instructional lessons and two review lessons. Methods were similar in the specific prefixed words taught (24), duration (8 days/8-9 minutes per word), number of exposures (9), and inclusion of the following activities: Example and/or Non-example, Student Examples, Word/Meaning Match, and Word/Example Match. The major differences between the two methods occurred during the introduction of the prefixed words. Morphemic Analysis included a prefix component that focused on grouping prefixes by families, introducing each prefix meaning, and then analyzing the prefixed word by morphemes: root, prefix, and suffix (as needed). The meaning of the prefixed word was derived by combining the meanings of the parts: root, prefix, and suffix. Whole Word Meaning instruction focused on the prefixed word as a whole unit. Meaning for the prefixed word was developed from a Scenario and Question activity. This activity placed the lesson word into a meaningful written context, and a question followed that guided students to infer the word's meaning. Also, a Prompt activity was used to extend the word's meaning beyond the written passage.Analysis of data on the following three measures: 24 prefixes, 24 prefixed lesson words, and 24 untaught prefixed words, revealed students' performance for the two conditions, Morphemic Analysis and Whole Word Meaning. The data revealed that students made a greater gain in prefix knowledge (17%) from Morphemic Analysis instruction. This gain could be attributed to the direct instruction of prefixes, a major component of the Morphemic Analysis method. On prefixed lesson words, Morphemic Analysis and Whole Word Meaning each showed large gains; thus, they could be considered equally effective methods of vocabulary instruction. The data on untaught prefixed words indicated that the Morphemic Analysis group outperformed the Whole Word Meaning group, by an advantage of two mean points (8%). The present study points to the benefits of prefix knowledge and transfer word knowledge for the Morphemic Analysis group. The similar performance by both methods on taught prefixed words was equally interesting and warrants further investigation into the components of effective vocabulary instruction.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Talerico, Donna
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBeck, Isabelibeck@pitt.eduIBECK
Committee CoChairKucan, Lindalkucan@pitt.eduLKUCAN
Committee MemberKim, Kevinkhkim@pitt.eduKHKIM
Committee MemberBean, Ritaritabean@pitt.eduRITABEAN
Date: 29 January 2008
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 15 November 2007
Approval Date: 29 January 2008
Submission Date: 26 November 2007
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: morphemic analysis; prefix family; prefixes; vocabulary; whole word; word analysis
Other ID:, etd-11262007-135902
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:06
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:52


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