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Word learning and vocabulary development in children with English as an additional language

Oxley, Emily (2019) Word learning and vocabulary development in children with English as an additional language. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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This thesis presents a systematic review, two experimental studies and a Delphi survey to investigate vocabulary growth for children in the UK with English as an additional language (EAL). A systematic review assessed the strategies used across vocabulary interventions for EAL children (chapter 2). Evidence from 22 interventions suggested that explicit instruction provided the greatest improvements in vocabulary knowledge for EAL children, whereas implicit tasks did not produce such gains. Thus, two novel word learning tasks were designed to compare explicit and implicit learning of novel words in EAL and monolingual (ML) children aged 7-8 years old. In experiment one, (chapter 4), 119 children (67 = EAL; 52 ML) were explicitly taught six novel words. In experiment two, (chapter 5), 80 children (30 = ML; 50 = EAL) heard six novel words embedded in two spoken stories. When the instruction was explicit, EAL children had an immediate advantage of novel word recall over MLs (p=.019), however, under implicit conditions, poorer immediate recall (p <.01) was found. Measures of static English vocabulary were measured during experiment one, and repeated one year later (chapter 6). English vocabulary growth over twelve months was predicted by EAL children’s ability to learn the phonological aspects of nonwords. Monolingual children’s vocabulary growth was not predicted by novel word learning ability. To investigate whether current classroom practice reflected research, teachers were recruited to take part in a Delphi survey (chapter 7). Few specific language and literacy related strategies were offered to EAL children and a lack of professional development was identified. A general discussion about the results of this thesis is given (chapter 8), which considers the implications of findings on children with EAL.  

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: English as an additional language, EAL, word learning, vocabulary acquisition.
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Medicine and Health (Leeds) > Institute of Psychological Sciences (Leeds)
Depositing User: Miss Emily Oxley
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2020 16:16
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2020 16:16
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/25609

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