Specific Aims Models of reading have long considered vocabulary knowledge an important source of variation in reading comprehension, particularly as it affects higher-level language processes such as grammatical processing and construction of schemata and text models (Adams &Collins, 1977;Chall, 1987;Proctor, Carlo, August, &Snow, 2005;see also the results of cross-project analyses cited in the Research Overview above). More recently, vocabulary has taken an even more central role in models of reading as research uncovers its influence on earlier reading and reading-related skills, including phonological, orthographic, and morphosyntactic processes (Anglin, 1993;Carlisle &Nomanbhoy 1993;Muter &Diethelm, 2001;Verhallen &Schoonen, 1993;Wang &Geva, 2003). It is well established that children who speak a language other than English at home lag behind their monolingual peers in vocabulary (Oiler, 2002) and that their rate of development is insufficient to close the gap. Fourth grade outcomes for children in the Subproject 2 sample of the current Program Project indicated that they were performing well below grade level in oral language proficiency, scoring at the high first grade level on the Woodcock Language Proficiency Battery (WLPB) Picture Vocabulary subtest. This is consistent with data from the National Center for Education Statistics (2003) that indicate fourth grade performance on the NAEP reading test shows a 22-29 point scale score advantage for children living in homes where a language other than English was never used compared with children who lived in homes where a language other than English was always used. To address these issues, the proposed project will focus on the vocabulary development of Englishlanguage learners (ELLs) in the early elementary grades. Our goals in Subproject 3 are to describe ELLs'vocabulary knowledge (Study 1), and use that information to design and evaluate a series of interventions to improve students'vocabulary knowledge (Studies 2 and 3) to determine which instructional strategies are most effective for teaching which kinds of words.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Program Projects (P01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Center for Applied Linguistics
United States
Zip Code
Howard, Elizabeth R; Green, Jennifer D; Arteagoitia, Igone (2012) Can yu rid guat ay rot? A developmental investigation of cross-linguistic spelling errors among Spanish-English bilingual students. Biling Res J 35:164-178
Mancilla-Martinez, Jeannette; Lesaux, Nonie K (2011) The gap between Spanish speakers' word reading and word knowledge: a longitudinal study. Child Dev 82:1544-60
Mancilla-Martinez, Jeannette; Lesaux, Nonie K (2010) Predictors of Reading Comprehension for Struggling Readers: The Case of Spanish-speaking Language Minority Learners. J Educ Psychol 102:701-711
Paez, Mariela M; Tabors, Patton O; Lopez, Lisa M (2007) Dual language and literacy development of Spanish-speaking preschool children. J Appl Dev Psychol 28:85-102
Uccelli, Paola; Paez, Mariela M (2007) Narrative and vocabulary development of bilingual children from kindergarten to first grade: developmental changes and associations among English and Spanish skills. Lang Speech Hear Serv Sch 38:225-36