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Title: Vocabulary and reading interventions in primary school : design, impact and implications
Author: Dyson, H. R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8502 9821
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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Children's vocabulary knowledge is fundamental to their understanding of language. Recent research has demonstrated an association between vocabulary and educational outcomes, particularly in reading comprehension. It is also widely acknowledged that a large vocabulary gap exists between higher and lower achievers and that children from low socio-economic backgrounds are particularly at risk for vocabulary deficits. In depth, rich instruction using a combination of direct teaching of word definitions and interactive activities has been shown to be the most effective way to teach children new words. However, although research has demonstrated the importance and efficacy of vocabulary instruction, classroom practice in the UK does not always reflect this. This thesis describes the designing and testing of a new vocabulary intervention programme created for use in the classroom with 6-8 year old children. The impact of this programme on children's vocabulary and reading skills was measured to ascertain the programme's effectiveness. Results from the programme demonstrated that, as well as making significant gains on their understanding of target words, children were better able to read aloud taught words. This outcome led to a further intervention study which explored the relationship between understanding word meaning and decoding. This study specifically examined whether training children to correct their mispronunciations of irregular words using lexical knowledge would result in improvements in reading accuracy of irregular words. Overall, the studies reported in this thesis demonstrate that direct vocabulary instruction is effective at teaching target words but does not generalise to untaught words. Teaching the meaning of a word also results in improved decoding accuracy. Finally, training children's ability to correct their mispronunciations of irregular words produces generalised gains in decoding irregular words. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
Supervisor: Hulme, C. ; Best, W. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available