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This study seeks to explore how explicit vocabulary instruction supports retelling of storybooks in the Read Well Kindergarten curriculum for English language learners. The research method consisted of classroom research in the context of a small reading group, where explicit vocabulary instruction based on the Text Talk model from Beck et al. and modifications for ELLs suggested by Rooney and Silverman was provided to supplement RWK storybooks. Data was collected through use of a vocabulary pre test, a researcher observation journal, and story retellings. Finding supported the use of the Text Talk model with modifications for ELLs as an effective method of vocabulary instruction. Vocabulary instruction seemed to support retelling of the RWK storybooks however, vocabulary instruction alone appeared to be insufficient. Other factors related to oral language, such as syntactical knowledge and background knowledge, influenced students' comprehension and use of target words during the retellings.