ERIC Number: ED225115
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1982-Dec
Exploring Vocabulary Development in Informational Reading Selections: Implications for the Construction of Reading Instructional Series for the Middle Grades.
Since derivatives are more likely to occur in expository or informational prose than in fictional, literary prose, a study was conducted to test the hypothesis that systematic contextual development of vocabulary is more apt to occur in informational selections than in fictional literary ones. The teaching of prefixes and the use of prefixed words in the Harcourt Brace Jovanovitch (HBJ) Bookmark Reading Program (1979) were examined because at grades 4 through 6 HBJ publishes a separate literature reader and a "skills" reader containing only nonfiction informational articles (although grade 2 through grade 3 material was also examined to establish the series' consistency). Results indicated that while many opportunities existed for systematic expansion of children's knowledge of some prefixes, the skills readers provided few or no opportunities for many others. Surprisingly, while the HBJ series contained more prefixed words than other series at grade 3, after the split, the skills reader contained fewer, not more, derivatives. Most likely the series' heavy use of narrative rather than expository informational selections produced this result. Serious thought must be given to the dominating presence of narrative structure in reading instructional material at the middle grades level; in fact, the dominance of such material may be the cause of some of the problems students have in reading and writing other kinds of prose. (JL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A