Vocabulary Retention of Third Grade Students from Low-Income Homes Following Second Grade Vocabulary Instruction

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The Ohio State University

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This study examined vocabulary retention rates of 63 third grade students from low-income schools a year following instruction. Expressive labeling and decontextualized definition tasks were compared across years. Word knowledge on the decontextualized task went from 40% in second grade to 26% in third grade. Word knowledge on the expressive task went from 46% in second grade to 19% in third grade. Participants with high IQ scores (115 or higher) had superior retention rates especially for the expressive task. Participants with identified disabilities had lower retention rates than those without identified disabilities. Results indicated that this 15-minute supplement of vocabulary instruction was successful in increasing acquisition of rather challenging vocabulary with participants retaining much of their learned vocabulary one year after instruction without review or practice.



retention, vocabulary, elementary school, low-income, vocabulary intervention