Exploring classroom behavior and vocabulary learning outcomes in kindergarten

Sarah Hardy, University of Rhode Island


The purpose of the present study was to investigate the impact of student behavior on vocabulary knowledge development across three groups of kindergarteners: Intervention, Control, and Reference. Kindergarten students (n = 1132) from forty schools across Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Oregon completed a vocabulary program approximately 20 weeks in duration, including an additional vocabulary intervention for students in the Intervention group. Each student was assessed on four different vocabulary knowledge measures before and after completion of the vocabulary program, using both standardized and experimenter-developed formats: Target Receptive, Target Expressive, PPVT-4, and EVT-2. Results showed no significant impact for classroom behavior, but there were significant differences in vocabulary outcomes by groups of students. Students who received the supplemental vocabulary intervention performed as well, or better than reference peers on experimenter-developed measures of target words. Additionally, intervention student behavior was considered between whole-class and small group settings; however, no significant effects were found on vocabulary knowledge outcomes. These results suggest that while behavior did not have an impact on vocabulary knowledge outcomes in this study, all students successfully made considerable gains in vocabulary knowledge upon completion of this vocabulary program and intervention.

Subject Area

Linguistics|Behavioral psychology|Developmental psychology

Recommended Citation

Sarah Hardy, "Exploring classroom behavior and vocabulary learning outcomes in kindergarten" (2015). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI1584523.