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This study seeks to examine the impact of explicit vocabulary instruction on the productive vocabulary of ESL kindergarten students. Key influences include students' previous vocabulary production and authors such as Beck, McKeown, Kucan, Biemiller, Swain, and Silverman. The research method consisted of action research in the KLDM classroom and collected data with a teacher observation journal, checklists, and authentic assessments. The main findings were: 1) The vocabulary model presented by Beck et al. (2002) appears to work, more important is the teacher's role in choosing target vocabulary and creating meaningful, student-friendly definitions. 2) Valuable student connections are made when words are introduced in ways that activate prior knowledge. 3) Vocabulary instruction cannot be isolated for English learners teaching the language structure and syntax required for vocabulary use must also be explicitly taught.