This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Pre-teaching Vocabulary to Improve Comprehension of a Narrative Text




Cowell, Leslie

Type of Degree



Curriculum and Teaching


This study investigated the use of the pre-instruction of vocabulary in order to improve elementary students’ reading comprehension of a narrative text. Three classes of second, fourth, and sixth graders were pre-taught meanings of twenty different vocabulary target words for three consecutive weeks. The pre-teaching included four days of rich vocabulary instruction including definitional, associational, and contextual methods, with a multiple choice post-test given on the fifth day. One month following the third week of instruction, a follow-up post-test was administered to all groups. There was no instruction given prior to the delayed follow-up assessment. A 3 x 2 x (4) mixed ANOVA was performed to determine the effect of the pre-teaching method on the treatment and control groups as well as grade level over the three-week period and the follow-up test. Overall, the data from the pre-teaching treatment groups and grade level groups were statistically significant. The pre-teaching treatment groups’ scores were statistically significant for weeks one, two and three. The treatment group did not have statistically significant scores on the follow-up reading comprehension post-test. Post hoc tests revealed students in second grade achieved higher reading comprehension scores for week one and students in fourth grade achieved higher reading scores for the third and follow-up weeks. None of the grade levels had statistically significant scores for week two. Sixth grade scores were not significant for any of the four weeks.