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Wondrous words : explicit vocabulary instruction for kindergarten English language learners

By Amy Lucile Hammon


An expansive vocabulary is a key component in reading comprehension. Because vocabulary is so important, students need instruction in the meaning of new words. Wondrous Words is a curriculum designed to improve vocabulary instruction with kindergarten English language learners. Through this curriculum, students receive explicit instruction on vocabulary words used during a teacher read aloud. After learning about the word and hearing the read aloud, the class completes a specific vocabulary activity, requiring students to either act out the word meaning, fill in a vocabulary journal, or select an image that matches the new vocabulary word. Wondrous Words was created to improve retention of vocabulary learning, foster depth of word understanding, and increase word consciousness. Based on observations and student work, some students developed expert-level definitions and remembered words over time. The depth of understanding of the word and how well it was remembered varied depending on the vocabulary word being learned. Almost half of the students showed an increased consciousness of words, displaying examples of word consciousness by asking about new words, making connections between words, and using previously learned vocabulary words. Wondrous Words demonstrates that young children can develop a consciousness of words and can ask for clarification about unknown vocabulary, given they are provided with explicit vocabulary instruction and opportunities to interact with the wor

Topics: UCSD Dissertations, Academic Teaching and learning (Curriculum design) (Discipline)
Publisher: eScholarship, University of California
Year: 2011
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