A Small-Scale Study of the Effects of Supplemental Vocabulary Instruction on Preschoolers with Vocabulary Delays


Research on preschool vocabulary instruction has increased considerably as the need for stronger early literacy programs has garnered public attention. While research findings show moderately to large effects of direct, intensive vocabulary instruction on children’s word learning, results are less robust for those children with vocabulary delays. In general, design specifications of more effective interventions remain unclear. Using a matched sample design, this study examined whether greater frequency of a direct, intensive vocabulary intervention alone improved gains for children with vocabulary delays, or if a more complex treatment may be needed. Participants included 24 children with vocabulary delays were drawn from eight Head Start classrooms in Early Reading First programs. Results of the study indicated that increasing the frequency of an intensive intervention yielded notable gains for children resistant to vocabulary instruction. Implications for early literacy instructional practice are discussed.

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Roskos, K. , Burstein, K. & Sullivan, S. (2013). A Small-Scale Study of the Effects of Supplemental Vocabulary Instruction on Preschoolers with Vocabulary Delays. Creative Education, 4, 15-22. doi: 10.4236/ce.2013.47A1003.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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