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ERIC Number: EJ831180
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 57
ISSN: ISSN-0013-5984
Learning Academic Language through Science in Two Linguistically Diverse Kindergarten Classes
Spycher, Pamela
Elementary School Journal, v109 n4 p359-379 Mar 2009
This study examined the effectiveness of an intentional versus an implicit approach to English oral language development in young children. A vocabulary intervention in science was developed using previous research on effective vocabulary and science instruction. Participants were 39 English-learning, bilingual, and monolingual English-speaking kindergartners from lower-socioeconomic backgrounds in 2 intact classrooms in an urban school in California. The 5-week-long intervention was implemented in 1 classroom where the students' regular classroom teacher taught 20 academic words from texts from the existing science curriculum in addition to the regular science curriculum. The control class received the regular science curriculum from the same teacher without the explicit vocabulary instruction. I used the Emergent Science Vocabulary Assessment, a picture test, to ascertain receptive vocabulary knowledge. I used the Conceptual Interviews on Scientific Understanding, a one-on-one interview protocol, to ascertain expressive knowledge of the words and scientific conceptual understanding related to the words. Findings showed that the intervention class learned more target words than the control class and that students who knew more of the vocabulary expressed their understanding of scientific concepts more effectively. I discuss instructional implications. (Contains 2 figures and 5 tables.)
University of Chicago Press. Journals Division, P.O. Box 37005, Chicago, IL 60637. Tel: 877-705-1878; Tel: 773-753-3347; Fax: 877-705-1879; Fax: 773-753-0811; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California