Summer 2017



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Anne Rogan

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Margaret Farrell

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Elizabeth Niesen


This study examines the impact of small group explicit vocabulary instruction on kindergarten ELs’ receptive and expressive knowledge of selected academic vocabulary. Key influences include research by Beck, McKeown, and Silverman. The research consisted of a mixed-methods quasi-experimental approach. Data was collected through a pretest, posttest, checklists and a teacher observation journal. The main findings suggest that small group explicit vocabulary instruction is a more effective way to increase academic word meaning knowledge rather than embedded vocabulary instruction alone. The results from the study also show that modeling and prompting were often required for students to correctly respond to the question using the target word in a sentence. Additionally, students benefitted from repeated exposure to target words and from multiple opportunities to practice using target words in various contexts.

Research Methodology

Field Study


ESL/ ELLs, Vocabulary

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