Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Non-native Kindergarteners Learn Vocabulary Faster Than Native English-speakers WIth The Right Lessons

Date:
April 27, 2007
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Analyzing rates of target word acquisition and overall vocabulary development, this study finds that students learning English as a second language pick up general vocabulary more quickly and target vocabulary words at the same rate as native English-speaking kindergarteners with oral instruction, such as storytime.

An important study from The Elementary School Journal explores vocabulary development at the kindergarten level among English-only students (EOs) and English-language-learning students (ELLs) who speak another language at home. Analyzing rates of target word acquisition and overall vocabulary development, the study found that students learning English as a second language picked up general vocabulary more quickly and target vocabulary words at the same rate as native English-speaking kindergarteners.

"This study contributes to knowledge about vocabulary instruction by investigating the effects of a vocabulary intervention with children from a variety of backgrounds," writes Rebecca Deffes Silverman, who conducted the research while at Harvard University and is now at the University of Maryland. Past studies have identified vocabulary as the "single most encountered obstacle" for English-language-learning students, Silverman points out, and vocabulary is also the primary determinant of future reading comprehension.

Taking into account that kindergarteners comprehend oral language instruction at a much higher rate than they can read, Silverman developed and implemented a multidimensional vocabulary program incorporating storybook reading and opportunities to say vocabulary words aloud in five kindergarten classrooms. Three of the classrooms were mainstream English, in which both English-only kindergarteners and English-language learners were enrolled. One was structured immersion, in which only ELLs were enrolled. The last classroom was bilingual Spanish-English, attended by both EO and ELL children.

After fourteen weeks, English-language-learning students knew 19 more words on a picture vocabulary assessment than they knew before the program, while native English-speaking students knew 14 more words than before. Similarly, on an oral vocabulary test, English-language-learning kindergarteners could provide definitions for 21 more words than they could before the program, compared to 17 more definitions for the native English-speaking kindergarteners.

Also, though native English-speaking kindergarteners knew more of the target words before the program, there was no difference in knowledge of target words between the English-learning and English-only kindergarteners either immediately after the program or during follow-up six weeks later.

"My study shows that ELLs can grow in general vocabulary at a faster rate than EOs," writes Silverman. "This may indicate that ELLs can eventually catch up to EOs in overall vocabulary knowledge, and it may also suggest that the structure of vocabulary intervention could provide the instructional focus that leads to narrowing the language gap between ELLs and EOs."

Rebecca Deffes Silverman. "Vocabulary Development of English-Language and English-Only Learners in Kindergarten," Elementary School Journal, 107(4), 365-383.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Non-native Kindergarteners Learn Vocabulary Faster Than Native English-speakers WIth The Right Lessons." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070426110153.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2007, April 27). Non-native Kindergarteners Learn Vocabulary Faster Than Native English-speakers WIth The Right Lessons. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070426110153.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Non-native Kindergarteners Learn Vocabulary Faster Than Native English-speakers WIth The Right Lessons." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070426110153.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A study suggests that parents become desensitized to violent movies as well as children, which leads them to allow their kids to view violent films. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins