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Abilities and performance in vocabulary acquisition

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Item Summary

Title: Abilities and performance in vocabulary acquisition
Authors: Dunn-Rankin, Patricia A.
Keywords: Reading -- Remedial teaching -- Aids and devices
Vocabulary -- Study and teaching
Vocabulary tests
Issue Date: 1987
Abstract: This study was an investigation of the contribution of a selected set of cognitive abilities to students' initial acquisition of word meaning. Four different vocabulary instructional methods were used and their relative effectiveness was also examined. Seventy -one adults enrolled for credit in developmental (remedial) reading courses at Leeward Community College in Pearl City, Oahu served as the subjects. They were administered 17 factor-analytically- derived ability tests from the Kit of Factor Referenced Cognitive Tests (Ekstrom, French & Harmon, 1976). Based upon extensive research these tests were postulated to mark six factors named (a) perceptual speed, (b) induction, (c) integration, (d) memory for associations, (e) visualization and (f) verbal closure. The tests were chosen for this study based on the assumption that they tapped mental processes relevant to vocabulary acquisition under divergent instructional conditions. A factor analysis of the Leeward Community College students' scores failed to confirm the six factors chosen as predictors of success on the post performance measures. Therefore, individual ability tests were selected for the regression equations. Regression analysis revealed that scores on some selected ability tests can significantly predict performance following instruction under certain conditions. The four different treatments were presented to each student in a counterbalanced (Latin Square) design. The conditions were named (a) multisensory, (b) networking, (c) mnemonic, and (d) context. For each condition a different set of ten vocabulary words was used. After each lesson, scores on two performance measures were obtained : (a) a definition recall measure, and (b) a recognition of correct usage measure. Analysis of variance using the scores on each of two performance measures (recall and recognition) revealed statistically significant differences among the treatments, and multiple comparisons indicated most pairwise differences were statistically significant. With both the recall and recognition performance measures, the order of effectiveness for the conditions was (a) multisensory, (b) networking, (c) keyword, and (d) context. Repeated measures analysis of variance using the two types of performance (recall and recognition) as a fixed factor revealed statistically significant main effects for the four treatments, the two performance measures, and interaction. Average recognition scores were higher than the average recall scores. A statistically significant interaction occurred with the keyword and multisensory methods over the recall and recognition measures. The keyword method produced statistically significantly higher recognition scores whereas the multisensory was equally effective on recall and recognition. The overall success of the multisensory method may be due to the social interaction involved (Vgotsky, 1978). Canonical correlations were calculated using scores from all 17 ability tests as the independent set and the recall and recognition variables as the dependent set. The correlations were not significant, but the standardized coefficients suggested that specific ability tests were differentially related to recall and recognition. Subsequently, two significant canonical Rs were found relating specific abilities to scores on either recognition or recall measures. Results generally suggest that (a) ability structures may need to be defined differently with a low achievement population, (b) some instructional methods are more successful for initial vocabulary acquisition than others, and (c) main effects and interaction may be altered by the operational definition of the outcome measureā€¢
Description: Typescript.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1987.
Bibliography: leaves 133-143.
xii, 143 leaves ill. 29 cm
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Educational Psychology

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