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Title page for ETD etd-07152015-132051

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Jimenez, Sofia Renee
Author's Email Address sofia.r.jimenez@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-07152015-132051
Title Preschoolers’ word learning and story comprehension during shared book reading
Degree Master of Science
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Megan Saylor Committee Chair
Daniel Levin Committee Member
  • individual differences
  • joint-book reading
  • word learning
Date of Defense 2015-07-14
Availability unrestricted
Providing vocabulary instruction during book reading is an effective way to support word learning for preschool-aged children. We test the placement of such instruction to provide insight into the cognitive abilities that support word learning and story comprehension. 3-to-5-year-olds (N = 83) were read a storybook that included instruction on six new words. Instruction was provided either during (inside) or before/after (outside) the story. Children were then tested on their ability to identify the named items, generalize to unfamiliar exemplars, and comprehend the story. Word learning and story comprehension were above chance and similar across the inside and outside conditions. However, memory skills were stronger predictors of word learning and story comprehension in the inside condition. These results suggest that interactive vocabulary instruction during the story may place more demands on preschoolers’ cognitive resources and may not be equally appropriate for all children.
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