Capstone/Dissertation Title

The correlation between kindergarteners' oral vocabulary, academic achievement, and listening comprehension

Term

2006

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAEd

Abstract

As a kindergarten teacher in a low income school, I noticed that many of my English speaking students had limited vocabularies. I became interested in the topic of how a child's oral vocabulary impacts his/her ability to succeed academically. It seemed that many of the students with limited vocabularies also struggled academically. After an extensive review of the existing research, I concluded that there were three areas of vocabulary that needed to be addressed in the literature review section of the capstone. The first section looks at the impact of students' vocabulary on their academic achievement. The second section addresses the affect of poverty on children's vocabulary. The last area reviews strategies that can be implemented to increase children's vocabulary. The subjects of the research study were kindergarten students in a school with a diverse population. The research participants were given the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised to assess their receptive vocabulary. School district assessments were used to measure student achievement. Students listened to and individually answered questions about stories read aloud to them. They listened to stories read in the read only style and the interactive reading style. The findings of the study showed that there was a correlation between each of three factors analyzed in the action research project. The strongest correlation was between receptive oral vocabulary and comprehension for stories read in the read only reading style. The weakest correlation was between vocabulary and school district assessments. The correlation between oral vocabulary and the different school district assessments varied widely. The correlate of .778 between oral vocabulary , student achievement, and listening comprehension indicated that there was a strong relationship between all three factors studied.

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