This study examined the impact of direct instruction and interactive instruction on immigrant kindergarten children’s vocabulary learning during storybook reading. (In the present study the terms “immigrants” and “second language learners” are used alternatively meaning kindergarteners from immigrant families who are in the process of acquiring a second language besides their mother tongue.) Eighty seven immigrant kindergarten children, aged 4–6 years old (mean = 61.68 months, standard deviations = .51) were recruited from 12 public kindergarten classrooms located in Crete. Children were acquiring Greek as a second language. The immigrant children of the 12 kindergarten classrooms were randomly assigned to two experimental groups and one control group. During the intervention phase, six stories were read twice in whole group settings. Target and non-target words were assessed by multiple choice vocabulary measure before and after the storybook readings. In the first experimental group, children were provided brief explanations of target words by direct instruction. In the second experimental group, children were involved actively in discussing target words according to interactive instruction techniques. In the control group stories were read without any explanation of target vocabulary. Results showed that interactive instruction was more beneficial on target vocabulary learning than direct instruction and the impact was greater for instructed words than for uninstructed ones. In addition, results showed that boys and girls responded differently to the teaching procedures. Specifically, in both conditions where teaching procedures were implemented, girls outperformed boys on instructed words. Furthermore, children’s initial level in Greek receptive vocabulary and target word knowledge had a significant impact on target word learning.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 18, 2014
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