ERIC Number: EJ1051573
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 69
Measuring Productive Elements of Multi-Word Phrase Vocabulary Knowledge among Children with English as an Additional or Only Language
Smith, Sara A.; Murphy, Victoria A.
Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, v28 n3 p347-369 Mar 2015
Vocabulary plays a critical role in language and reading development for children, particularly those learning English as an additional language (EAL) (Stahl & Nagy, 2006). Previous research on vocabulary has mainly focused on measuring individual words without considering multi-word phrase knowledge, despite evidence that these items occur frequently in English (Erman & Warren, 2000). Multi-word vocabulary knowledge and its contribution to literacy among children remains underexplored, possibly due to challenges presented in measuring this element of vocabulary and assessing children and learners with EAL. The current study adapted a test format designed for L2 adults (Revier, 2009) to develop a task measuring productive elements of English "verb + object" phrase knowledge. The measure was administered to 108 children (monolingual and EAL) between ages 7 and 10, along with a battery of standardized assessments. The measure possessed high internal consistency and temporal reliability, and correlated significantly with related vocabulary measures. Results showed significant differences among year groups and language backgrounds. Specifically, patterns in multi-word phrase knowledge across year group differ between children with EAL and monolingual English speakers. Findings are of import for understanding vocabulary acquisition and reading outcomes among both first and second language learners.
Descriptors: Vocabulary, Knowledge Level, Children, English Language Learners, Verbs, Standardized Tests, Test Reliability, Correlation, Language Tests, Age Differences, Monolingualism
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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