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Deriving word meanings from context: does explanation facilitate contextual analysis?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date11/2007
JournalJournal of Research in Reading
Journal number4
Volume30
Number of pages13
Pages347-359
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The ability to derive the meanings of words from supportive story contexts was studied in 45 seven-eight-year-olds. Children read short stories each containing a different novel word and defined the word at the end of each story. There were three intervention sessions. One group was asked to justify their definition and subsequently received feedback on its accuracy. A second group was given feedback first and asked to explain how the experimenter knew the correct answer. A third (control) received feedback only. In general, practice lead to improved performance, with an increased number of children in all groups using the story context to derive meanings for the novel words in a post-intervention test. Children in the two explanation groups made the greatest gains in definition accuracy. The implications for teaching vocabulary learning skills are discussed.

Bibliographic note

For the final version of this paper, please contact k.cain@lancs.ac.uk The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com (c) Blackwell 2007.