NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED514872
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 106
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1097-0223-1
The Effect of Morphological Instruction in Improving the Spelling, Vocabulary, and Reading Comprehension of High School English Language Learners (ELLs)
Diaz, Ivan
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, TUI University
The purpose of this study was to determine if Morphological Instruction (knowledge of the Germanic, Latin, and Greek words, roots, and affixes of English) was an effective instructional approach towards accelerating the acquisition of spelling, vocabulary, and reading comprehension and closing at least a 6,000 word gap between English language learners and their English dominant peers. Studies show that there exists a gap between English dominant high school students who bring 10-12,000 words to reading instruction as opposed to the 5,000-7000 words of English Language Learners (ELLs) (Hart & Risley, 1995; Biemiller & Slonim, 2001). For many ELLs, this gap has resulted in school failure, higher dropout rates, and dead-end careers (Fleishman, 2004). One possibility for closing this gap is "Morphological Instruction" which can provide learners with expansive knowledge of the Germanic, Latin, and Greek words, roots, and affixes of English. This knowledge can help students acquire meanings of unfamiliar, morphologically complex words and expose them to the structure of English from a cross-language perspective through structural linguistic elements that have rarely been included in the current language arts or English curriculum (Fashola, Drum, Mayer & Kang, 1996). From early elementary grades and continuing into the college years, a major reason for Morphological Instruction in English, when included in the curriculum, has been to increase knowledge of high-level vocabulary that is essential for comprehension of text (Carlo et al., 2004). In addition, Morphological Instruction, with its focus on affixing, may result in spelling improvement and increased decoding ability (Beck & Juel, 1995; Foorman, Francis, Fletcher, Schnatschneider, & Metha, 1998; Rothstein, Rothstein, & Lauber, 2007). The study involved ELLs (ages 15-17 years of age; n=140) in a true experimental design to determine if Morphological Instruction is an effective instructional approach towards accelerating the acquisition of spelling, vocabulary, and reading comprehension for high school ELLs who face linguistic disadvantages and thereby close the gap between high school English dominant speakers and second language learners. Bivariate and multivariate analyses revealed that each of the "t"-tests and ANCOVAs were found to be of statistical significance in reading, vocabulary, and spelling. The data was significant alone, which made it abundantly clear that each group--control and treatment--regardless of their covariates were judged based on their performance as a class, or cohort, and on the instruction they received, for reading, vocabulary, and spelling vis-a-vis traditional instruction or Morphological Instruction. Thus, Morphological Instruction suggests that it did have a significant effect on whether or not ELL students improved in reading, vocabulary, and spelling to the exclusion of the null and to the acceptance of the alternative hypothesis and research questions indicating, without equivocation, that it can serve as an instructional tool in accelerating the closing of the word gap between ELLs and English dominant high school students. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A