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ERIC Number: EJ879429
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-0265-6590
Improving Children's Formal Word Definitions: A Feasibility Study
Marinellie, Sally A.
Child Language Teaching and Therapy, v26 n1 p23-37 2010
The ability to define a word with accuracy and precision is an important skill that has been associated with academic achievement. This study investigated the feasibility of conducting a lesson on formal word definitions to improve children's definitional production. The participants were 18 children in grade 4 (mean age: 9 years; 8 months) who were delayed readers by one grade level. Initially, the children wrote definitions for high- and lower-frequency nouns and verbs. Subsequently, a definitional lesson was delivered, which focused on the formal structure of noun and verb definitions and accuracy/precision of meaning. Lastly, the children were given a written post-test, which also contained high- and lower-frequency nouns and verbs. Words were controlled for frequency, imageability, difficulty, and familiarity. Noun and verb definitions were coded and scored for level of structure (form). Nouns were coded and scored for content (expressed meaning). Results indicated that post-test scores were significantly higher for form for nouns and verbs. For content, noun scores were significantly higher in post-test. Findings indicated that a one-time lesson on formal definitional production can positively influence children's definitions. Limitations of the study and future research ideas are discussed. (Contains 8 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 4
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio