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ERIC Number: EJ950697
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jun
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 77
ISSN: ISSN-1086-296X
Moving Past "Right" or "Wrong" toward a Continuum of Young Children's Semantic Knowledge
Christ, Tanya
Journal of Literacy Research, v43 n2 p130-158 Jun 2011
Vocabulary development is a critical goal for early childhood education. However, it is difficult for researchers and teachers to determine whether this goal is being met, given the limitations of current assessment tools. These tools tend to view word knowledge dichotomously--as right or wrong. A clear sense of children's depth of semantic knowledge is necessary in order to plan and evaluate the effectiveness of instruction. This article proposes a continuum of young children's semantic knowledge that stems from a conceptual analysis of literature across the fields of education, linguistics, and educational psychology. Nineteen categories of children's word knowledge were identified and grouped into five hierarchically related levels: no understanding, schematically related understanding, contextual understanding, decontextual understanding, and paired understanding. This semantic continuum can be used to develop an assessment instrument to measure the incremental changes in young children's semantic knowledge. Also, it can be used to guide assessment-based vocabulary instruction in early childhood. (Contains 4 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A