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ERIC Number: ED553031
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 270
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3030-3927-0
Adapting a Vocabulary Notebook Strategy to the Needs of Community College English Language Learners
Taveggia, Diane Elizabeth
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Kansas
Vocabulary, both the number of words and the knowledge about each word, are important in the comprehension of academic text in post-secondary education, and adult English language learners often have vocabularies of low quantity (number of words) and quality (knowledge about words). Research points to the effectiveness of teaching independent vocabulary learning strategies as a path to independent vocabulary learning for ELLs, but the specifics of what to teach and how to teach it are less clear. The present study investigated an independent vocabulary learning strategy, the vocabulary notebook, with ELLs studying in a community college academic English as a second language program. The purpose of the study was to determine how to most effectively implement a vocabulary notebook intervention, and what modifications researcher, teacher, and students would need to make to the strategy to make it actually useful and feasible. A mixed methods, formative experiment was conducted. Five focal students and nine other participants used the vocabulary notebook, and then provided feedback, via surveys, interviews, focus groups, and a post-semester reflection. In addition, classroom observation data were collected, and the teacher was interviewed. Interviews were transcribed and surveys, focus groups, and classroom observations were summarized. All transcripts and summaries were then coded. Finally, a Vocabulary Levels Test was given as a pre- and post-test, and quantitatively analyzed. Results suggest that, although very interested in learning vocabulary, students had very few comprehensive and coherent strategies in place. The vocabulary notebook iv became a tool for talking about what matters in learning about words and word meanings, so as to effect a change in student strategy use in collecting information about words so as to be able to use new words correctly. In addition, learners expressed a strong need to develop their social language, and initially indicated no real understanding of the disconnect between social and academic language. Finally, no statistically significant difference was found between the pre- and post-Vocabulary Levels Test. Other findings and implications for practice are also discussed. [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: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A