THE EFFECTS OF EXPLICIT VOCABULARY INSTRUCTION ON STRUGGLING MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS' READING COMPREHENSION SKILLS
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Type of Work49 pages
action research papers
ProgramMasters of Education
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SubjectsEducation -- Research papers (Graduate).
The purpose of this study was to determine whether explicit vocabulary instruction affects the reading comprehension skills of sixth grade students with academic difficulties. The study compared the students in two social studies classes. The control group (n = 21) was taught the Economics unit using the traditional packet and instructional activities while the experimental group (n = 23) participated in the traditional activities but also participated in a typically 7-10 minutes of additional explicit vocabulary instruction daily over a 5 week period targeting the words from the Economic unit. The vocabulary instruction replaced some independent and group work. The teacher used a variety of explicit vocabulary instruction strategies including semantic mapping to connect meaning and purpose to the Economic unit, repetition of definitions using context in the Economic unit, Around the World and other vocabulary practice games, and flashcards to practice vocabulary at school and at home. The mean percentage correct on the Economics assessment of the Control group (Mean = 55.29, SD = 15.86) was not significantly different from that of the Experimental group (Mean = 63.57, SD = 16.82)[ t(42) = 1.68, p = .10]. Although the two groups did not differ significantly on the outcome variable, there were validity limitations that likely impacted the study’s findings. Observational data suggested increased academic engagement among the children receiving explicit vocabulary instruction.