Fall 2017



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Patty Born Selly

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Sarah Clyne

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Hannah Riddle de Rojas


This study measured the effects of a music-based Spanish instructional intervention on the Spanish vocabulary acquisition of four- and five-year-old students of varying language backgrounds who were enrolled together in a dual immersion preschool program. Research by Christ & Wang (2010), Schwartz (2014) and others concludes that young, pre-reading children with underdeveloped vocabulary can encounter difficulties achieving literacy. Thus, this project set out to determine the effectiveness of one specific vocabulary teaching strategy, in an effort to aid teachers in choosing effective instructional methods. Twenty participants were divided into two groups, including a control group receiving a nonmusical instructional intervention and an experimental group receiving a musical instructional intervention. Participants were given a pre-intervention test and a post-intervention test, and the change in scores was analyzed. Receptive vocabulary and expressive vocabulary was measured. It was found that participants with a bilingual language background, as compared to their single language counterparts, performed significantly better on the expressive vocabulary task, regardless of the style of instructional intervention.

Research Methodology

Action Research


Early Childhood, Foreign Language, Literacy, Music

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Education Commons