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 September 17, 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 September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. 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:
from the past week

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