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ERIC Number: EJ1046388
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Dec
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1468-7984
Assessing Vocabulary Learning in Early Childhood
Hoffman, Jessica L.; Teale, William H.; Paciga, Kathleen A.
Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, v14 n4 p459-481 Dec 2014
There is widespread agreement with in the field of early childhood education that vocabulary is important to literacy achievement and that reading aloud can support vocabulary growth. However, there are unexplored and significant problems with the ways we assess young children's vocabulary learning from read-alouds. This paper critically reviews the forms of vocabulary assessment commonly used with young children, examining the benefits and drawbacks of each. This review found: (a) general vocabulary measures are not practical, meaningful measures for vocabulary learning of specific words from books read aloud, (b) researcher-developed measures for specific words from books read aloud that mimic normed general vocabulary measures include serious threats to validity and reliability, and (c) other forms of measurement, such as soliciting definitions from children, are difficult to score reliably. This critical review of existing vocabulary assessments of word learning from read-alouds concludes that researchers and practitioners should carefully consider their needs for assessment data so as to choose, design and balance the uses of assessments to meet their needs for meaningful, reliable data.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Information Analyses
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Department of Education (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Expressive One Word Picture Vocabulary Test; Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test; Preschool Language Scale; Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals; Woodcock Johnson Tests of Achievement
Grant or Contract Numbers: S359B060073; S359B080021; S359B090099