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ERIC Number: ED552251
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 199
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2679-0136-1
The Effect of Digital Word Study on Fifth Graders' Vocabulary Acquisition, Retention, and Motivation: A Mixed Methods Approach
Yearta, Lindsay Sheronick
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Vocabulary and comprehension are so inextricably linked that it ensures the necessity of researchers and teachers to determine the most effective method of vocabulary instruction. Our nation's children are still victims of what has been termed the vocabulary gap (Biemiller & Boote, 2006). This "vocabulary gap," according to a large body of research (Chall, Jacobs, & Baldwin, 1990; Chall & Jacobs, 2003; Hart & Risley, 1995), is largely attributed to students' socioeconomic status. With the increasing digitization of education and proliferation of technology in our culture, students are gaining access to additional learning tools (Collins & Halverson, 2009). Vocabulary is a dimension of education that can be mediated through digital tools such as the Internet. With a global emphasis on the development of 21st century skills, researchers and teachers need to explore new, digital means of teaching vocabulary. The purpose of this study was to explore an alternative method of vocabulary instruction, using digital technologies. The expectation was that digital vocabulary instruction possessed the potential to contribute a means to address the vocabulary gap and provide all students with the mediating tools to improve their vocabularies. This study took place over eight-weeks during the spring semester of 2012 and used a mixed-methods design. Participants included two fifth grade teachers and 43 fifth grade students. The intact classes each had access to two types of vocabulary instruction on Greek and Latin roots: a digital word wall and a non-digital word wall. Group A began instruction with the digital word wall; group B began instruction with the non-digital word wall. At the end of a three week period, the instructional methods were switched and group A was instructed with the non-digital word wall while group B was instructed with the digital word wall. The study took place in a public elementary school located in a suburban area outside of a large city in the southeastern United States. The students learned three new Greek and Latin roots or prefixes per week. Interviews with students and teachers were conducted and thematically analyzed. A two-way repeated measures ANOVA was used to determine significant differences in students' vocabulary growth as was measured by multiple assessments. While further research is needed, an analysis of the data indicates that the digital word wall is a viable vocabulary instructional method to be added to teachers' repertoires. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 5; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A