Measuring the vocabulary development of new entrant children : a pilot study.
Thesis DisciplineHealth Sciences
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
For children who are learning to read, it is of the upmost importance that vocabulary knowledge is acquired in a timely fashion. Adequate vocabulary knowledge enables children to comprehend the majority of words in a text and this, in turn, influences reading and overall school success. Children who have delayed vocabulary at the point of school entry may increasingly fall behind their peers as reading demands increase. The identification of these children is necessary, yet despite its importance, vocabulary development is not being assessed in a systematic manner in new entrant classrooms. In this study, five receptive vocabulary tests were piloted with 46 new entrant children from four primary schools in the Christchurch area. The purpose of the study was to determine whether it was possible to develop a procedure that could identify children with delayed vocabulary development in an accurate and economical way. The results suggested that none of the four piloted tests were suitable for screening new entrants. These results highlight the need for a closer look at vocabulary testing at this age level.