The effect of digital word study on fifth graders' vocabulary acquisition, retention, and motivation: A mixed-methods approach
1 online resource (198 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
ABSTRACTLINDSAY SHERONICK YEARTA. The effect of digital word study on fifth graders' vocabulary acquisition, retention, and motivation: A mixed methods approach. (Under the direction of DR.KAREN WOOD)Vocabulary and comprehension are so inextricably linked that it ensures the necessity of researchers and teachers to determine the most effective method of vocabulary instruction. Our nation's children are still victims of what has been termed the vocabulary gap (Biemiller & Boote, 2006). This vocabulary gap, according to alarge body of research (Chall, Jacobs, & Baldwin, 1990; Chall & Jacobs, 2003; Hart & Risley, 1995), is largely attributed to students' socioeconomic status. With the increasing digitization of education and proliferation of technology in our culture, students are gaining access to additional learning tools (Collins & Halverson, 2009).Vocabulary is a dimension of education that can be mediated through digital tools such as the Internet. With a global emphasis on the development of 21st century skills, researchers and teachers need to explore new, digital means of teaching vocabulary. Thepurpose of this study was to explore an alternative method of vocabulary instruction, using digital technologies. The expectation was that digital vocabulary instruction possessed the potential to contribute a means to address the vocabulary gap and provideall students with the mediating tools to improve their vocabularies. This study took place over eight-weeks during the spring semester of 2012 and used a mixed-methods design. Participants included two fifth grade teachers and 43 fifth grade students. Theintact classes each had access to two types of vocabulary instruction on Greek and Latin roots: a digital word wall and a non-digital word wall. Group A began instruction withthe digital word wall; group B began instruction with the non-digital word wall. At the end of a three week period, the instructional methods were switched and group A was instructed with the non-digital word wall while group B was instructed with the digitalword wall. The study took place in a public elementary school located in a suburban area outside of a large city in the southeastern United States. The students learned threenew Greek and Latin roots or prefixes per week. Interviews with students and teachers were conducted and thematically analyzed. A two-way repeated measures ANOVA was used to determine significant differences in students' vocabulary growth as was measured by multiple assessments. While further research is needed, an analysis of the data indicates that the digital word wall is a viable vocabulary instructional method to be added to teachers' repertoires.
DIGITAL INSTRUCTIONGREEK AND LATIN ROOTSVOCABULARYWORD WALL
Curriculum & Instruction
Taylor, BruceAlghrim-Delzell, LynnRickelman, Robert
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2012.
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