Advertisement

Effects of explicit L2 vocabulary instruction on developing kindergarten children’s target and general vocabulary and phonological awareness

  • Susanna Siu-sze Yeung
  • Mei-lee Ng
  • Shen Qiao
  • Art TsangEmail author
Article
  • 55 Downloads

Abstract

The introduction of second language (L2) education in kindergartens is ubiquitous in many places globally; nevertheless, research in these settings is scarce compared with that on older learners. L2 vocabulary development is especially germane to these very young learners, rendering this a research-worthy topic. The present study examined the effects of researcher-designed explicit vocabulary instruction compared with implicit instruction on English-as-a-second-language participants’ (N = 157) gains in not only the target vocabulary items, but also general vocabulary as well as phonological awareness. Statistically significant differences were found in all vocabulary tasks and the phonemic awareness task with small to large effect sizes. These showed that, in addition to the target vocabulary, the participants receiving explicit vocabulary instruction also had greater gains in receptive and expressive general vocabulary and phonemic awareness. The article culminates in delineating the children’s differential achievements, followed by a brief discussion of the limitations and implications.

Keywords

Explicit and implicit vocabulary instruction Intervention Phonological awareness Second language teaching and learning Very young learners 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We sincerely thank all participating children and teachers. The study was supported by the Quality Education Fund, HKSAR, given to the first author (QEF2012/0316).

References

  1. Beck, I. L., & McKeown, M. G. (2007). Increasing young low-income children’s oral vocabulary repertoires through rich and focused instruction. The Elementary School Journal, 107(3), 251–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Beck, I. L., McKeown, M. G., & Kucan, L. (2002). Bringing words to life: Robust vocabulary instruction. New York, NY: Guilford.Google Scholar
  3. Blachman, B. A. (1997). Early intervention and phonological awareness: A cautionary tale. In B. A. Blachman (Ed.), Foundations of reading acquisition and dyslexia: Implications for early intervention (pp. 409–430). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.Google Scholar
  4. Buysse, V., Peisner-Feinberg, E., Paez, M., Hammer, C. S., & Knowles, M. (2014). Effects of early education programs and practices on the development and learning of dual language learners: A review of the literature. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 29(4), 765–785.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Carroll, J. M., Snowling, M. J., Stevenson, J., & Hulme, C. (2003). The development of phonological awareness in preschool children. Developmental Psychology, 39(5), 913–923.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Collins, M. F. (2010). ELL preschoolers’ English vocabulary acquisition from storybook reading. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 25(1), 84–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Coyne, M. D., Simmons, D. C., Kame’enui, E. J., & Stoolmiller, M. (2004). Teaching vocabulary during shared storybook readings: An examination of differential effects. Exceptionality, 12, 145–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Damhuis, C. M. P., Segers, E., & Verhoeven, L. (2014). Sustainability of breadth and depth of vocabulary after implicit versus explicit instruction in kindergarten. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 61(3), 194–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dickinson, D. K., McCabe, A., Anastasopoulos, L., Peisner-Feinberg, E. S., & Poe, M. D. (2003). The comprehensive language approach to early literacy: The interrelationships among vocabulary, phonological sensitivity, and print knowledge among preschool-aged children. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95(3), 465–481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dixon, L. Q. (2010). The importance of phonological awareness for the development of early English reading skills among bilingual Singaporean kindergartners. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 13(6), 723–738.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dunn, L. M., & Dunn, L. M. (1997). Peabody picture vocabulary test–III. Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service.Google Scholar
  12. Foorman, B., & Torgesen, J. (2001). Critical elements of classroom and small group instruction promote reading success in all children. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 16, 203–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hill, S. (2011). Early literacy: Connections and disconnections between oral language and literacy. In D. M. Laverick & M. Renck Jalongo (Eds.), Transitions to early care and education: International perspectives on making schools ready for young child (pp. 45–55). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hooper, R., Forbes, A., Hemming, K., Takeda, A., & Beresford, L. (2018). Analysis of cluster randomised trials with an assessment of outcome at baseline. British Medical Journal, 360, k1121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Johnson, C., & Yeates, E. (2006). Evidence-based vocabulary instruction for elementary students via storybook reading. EBP Briefs, 1, 1–23.Google Scholar
  16. Krashen, S. (1989). We acquire vocabulary and spelling by reading: Additional evidence for the input hypothesis. The Modern Language Journal, 73(4), 440–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kuo, L. J., & Anderson, R. C. (2010). Beyond cross-language transfer: Reconceptualizing the impact of early bilingualism on phonological awareness. Scientific Studies of Reading, 14(4), 365–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kuo, L. J., & Anderson, R. C. (2012). Effects of early bilingualism on learning phonological regularities in a new language. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 111(3), 455–467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lau, C., & Rao, N. (2013). English vocabulary instruction in six early childhood classrooms in Hong Kong. Early Child Development and Care, 183(10), 1363–1380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lau, C., & Rao, N. (2018). Early childhood education in Hong Kong. In J. Roopnarine, J. E. Johnson, S. Quinn, & M. Patte (Eds.), Handbook of international perspectives on early childhood education (pp. 149–161). New York, NY: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Laufer, B. (2017). From word parts to full texts: Searching for effective methods of vocabulary learning. Language Teaching Research, 21(1), 5–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Laufer, B., & Rozovski-Roitblat, B. (2011). Incidental vocabulary acquisition: The effects of task type, word occurrence and their combination. Language Teaching Research, 15(4), 391–411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Learning Disabilities Association of Alberta. (2009). Reading readiness screening tool. Edmonton, AB: Learning Disabilities Association of Alberta.Google Scholar
  24. Lesaux, N. K., & Siegel, L. S. (2003). The development of reading in children who speak English as a second language. Developmental Psychology, 39(6), 1005–1019.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Leyrat, C., Morgan, K. E., Leurent, B., & Kahan, B. C. (2018). Response to: How to design and analyse cluster randomized trails with a small number of clusters? Comment on Leyrat. International Journal of Epidemiology, 47(3), 1001–1002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Liu, Y., Yeung, S. S., Lin, D., & Wong, K. S. W. (2017). English expressive vocabulary growth and its unique role in predicting English word reading: A longitudinal study involving Hong Kong Chinese ESL children. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 49, 195–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Marulis, L. M., & Neuman, S. B. (2010). The effects of vocabulary intervention on young children’s word learning: A meta-analysis. Review of educational research, 80(3), 300–335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. McBride-Chang, C., Cho, J. R., Liu, H., Wagner, R. K., Shu, H., Zhou, A., et al. (2005). Changing models across cultures: Associations of phonological awareness and morphological structure awareness with vocabulary and word recognition in second graders from Beijing, Hong Kong, Korea, and the United States. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 92(2), 140–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. McBride-Chang, C., & Ho, C. S.-H. (2005). Predictors of beginning reading in Chinese and English: A 2-year longitudinal study of Chinese kindergartners. Scientific Studies of Reading, 9(2), 117–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Metsala, J. L., & Walley, A. C. (1998). Spoken vocabulary growth and the segmental restructuring of lexical representations: Precursors to phonemic awareness and early reading ability. In J. L. Metsala & L. C. Ehri (Eds.), Word recognition in beginning literacy (pp. 89–120). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.Google Scholar
  31. National Reading Panel. (2000). Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction. Washington, D.C.: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.Google Scholar
  32. Oetting, J. B., Rice, M. L., & Swank, L. K. (1995). Quick incidental learning (QUIL) of words by school-age children with and without SLI. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 38(2), 434–445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Perfetti, C. (2007). Reading ability: Lexical quality to comprehension. Scientific Studies of Reading, 11(4), 357–383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Pollard-Durodola, S. D., Gonzalez, J. E., Saenz, L., Resendez, N., Kwok, O., Zhu, L., et al. (2018). The effects of content-enriched shared book reading versus vocabulary-only discussions on the vocabulary outcomes of preschool dual language learners. Early Education and Development, 29(2), 245–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Roberts, T. A. (2008). Home storybook reading in primary or second language with preschool children: Evidence of equal effectiveness for second-language vocabulary acquisition. Reading Research Quarterly, 43(2), 103–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Schmitt, N. (2008). Instructed second language vocabulary learning. Language Teaching Research, 12(3), 329–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Scott, B. (2019, May 30). DaleChall list of 3000 familiar words. Retrieved from http://www.readabilityformulas.com/articles/dale-chall-readability-word-list.php.
  38. Senechal, M., & Cornell, E. H. (1993). Vocabulary acquisition through shared reading experiences. Reading Research Quarterly, 28, 360–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Shintani, N. (2011). A comparative study of the effects of input-based and production-based instruction on vocabulary acquisition by young EFL learners. Language Teaching Research, 15(2), 137–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Silverman, R., Crandell, J. D., & Carlis, L. (2013). Read alouds and beyond: The effects of read aloud extension activities on vocabulary in Head Start classrooms. Early Education and Development, 24(2), 98–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Spencer, E. J., Goldstein, H., & Kaminski, R. (2012). Teaching vocabulary in storybooks: Embedding explicit vocabulary instruction for young children. Young Exceptional Children, 15(1), 18–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sun, C. H. (2017). The value of picture-book reading-based collaborative output activities for vocabulary retention. Language Teaching Research, 21(1), 96–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Toumpaniari, K., Loyens, S., Mavilidi, M. F., & Paas, F. (2015). Preschool children’s foreign language vocabulary learning by embodying words through physical activity and gesturing. Educational Psychology Review, 27(3), 445–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Velasco, P., & Fialais, V. (2018). Moments of metalinguistic awareness in a kindergarten class: Translanguaging for simultaneous biliterate development. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 21(6), 760–774.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Wagner, R. K., Torgesen, J. K., & Rashotte, C. A. (1999). Comprehensive test of phonological processing. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.Google Scholar
  46. Webb, S. (2005). Receptive and productive vocabulary learning: The effects of reading and writing on word knowledge. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 27(1), 33–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Webb, S. (2007). Learning word pairs and glossed sentences: The effects of a single context on vocabulary knowledge. Language Teaching Research, 11(1), 63–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. West, M. (1953). A general service list of English words. London: Longman, Green and Co. Retrieved from http://www.ressources-pedagogiques.ups-tlse.fr/anglaisiut/WLists/The_GSL.pdf.
  49. Whitehurst, G. J., & Lonigan, C. J. (1998). Child development and emergent literacy. Child Development, 69(3), 848–872.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Yeung, S. S., Ng, M. L., & King, R. B. (2016). English vocabulary instruction through storybook reading for Chinese EFL kindergarteners: Comparing rich, embedded, and incidental approaches. Asian EFL Journal, 18, 81–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susanna Siu-sze Yeung
    • 1
  • Mei-lee Ng
    • 2
  • Shen Qiao
    • 3
  • Art Tsang
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyThe Education University of Hong KongTai PoHong Kong
  2. 2.Department of Early Childhood EducationThe Education University of Hong KongTai PoHong Kong
  3. 3.Faculty of EducationThe University of Hong KongPok Fu LamHong Kong
  4. 4.Department of Curriculum and InstructionThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatinHong Kong

Personalised recommendations