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The Effect of Rich Instruction on the Vocabulary Acquisition of Preschool Dual Language Learners

Brydon, Melissa M (2010) The Effect of Rich Instruction on the Vocabulary Acquisition of Preschool Dual Language Learners. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This study was designed to investigate the effectiveness of a rich instructional program on the vocabulary acquisition of three-, four-, and five-year-old Dual Language Learners (DLLs). The lead teacher of a private preschool in western Pennsylvania, five children who were native speakers of English, and 16 DLLs who speak Kirundi, Burmese, Nepali, a combination of Ahiska Turkish and Russian, Karen, and a combination of Karen and Burmese, as well as each child's primary caregiver participated in the study. The children received rich instruction in small groups in three four-day blocks. Five sophisticated vocabulary words from authentic children's literature were targeted during each four-day instructional block. Two control instructional sessions were included in the study to compare the children's word learning based on typical instruction of text-based words in the classroom, to word learning after engaging in rich instructional activities. The children's understanding of each set of five target words was evaluated using two researcher-designed vocabulary measures after the fourth day of instruction. The children's baseline receptive vocabulary skills in English, baseline vocabulary in their home language, the number of months that they lived in the U.S., their home language, and the frequency of book reading in the home were also examined to identify other factors that might explain differences in word learning. Results suggested that the strategies and activities included in the rich instructional program were effective in increasing the children's knowledge of sophisticated English words. Among the 21 participants, the children who demonstrated the most notable gains in word learning included those in the older age group. Results also suggested that children who had lived in the U.S. longer demonstrated higher scores on the verbal portion of the rich instruction posttests. In addition, children who demonstrated understanding of more English words at the start of the study earned higher scores on the picture portion of each posttest.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Brydon, Melissa
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKucan, Lindalkucan@pitt.eduLKUCAN
Committee MemberPuranik, Cynthiacpuranik@pitt.eduCPURANIK
Committee MemberBachman, Heatherhbachman@pitt.eduHBACHMAN
Committee MemberHamilton, Rebeccarhamilto@pitt.eduRHAMILTO
Committee MemberDonato, Richarddonato@pitt.eduDONATO
Date: 9 December 2010
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 27 October 2010
Approval Date: 9 December 2010
Submission Date: 29 November 2010
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: emergent language; emergent literacy; English Language Learners; reading
Other ID:, etd-11292010-183910
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:06
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:52


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