What works: fostering vocabulary knowledge through direct instruction and indirect instruction with initial support
The primary purpose of this study was to assess the effects of direct vocabulary instruction versus indirect vocabulary instruction. Direct vocabulary instruction (di) includes an explicit, systematic presentation of a word and its meaning (Jitendra, Edwards, Sacks, & Jacobson, 2004). In this research study, direct instruction included the teacher giving the meaning of the word, providing a visual cue and providing structured vocabulary practice. For the purpose of this research project, indirect instruct (ii) referred to context-based vocabulary instruction which relied on students deriving the meanings of words from sentences and paragraphs provided in commercially available vocabulary packets and then using the words to complete a variety of exercises including completing sentences with the correct word, analogies, and etymology practice. Which vocabulary instruction method will better increase vocabulary learning for ninth through eleventh grade students with specific learning disabilities in the area of reading and writing? While it was anticipated that independent vocabulary practice would be the preference of students because of familiarity and ease, I anticipate that direct instruction would better increase vocabulary comprehension. This study was important because it addressed a fundamental issue for students with specific learning disabilities in the areas of reading and writing and that is vocabulary comprehension. Although vocabulary instruction is not an original topic in the teaching profession, this study would make a contribution because it addressed the issue of making the biggest impact on students within a limited amount of time. Teachers in the classroom want to know the most effective methods for reaching students and keeping them engaged. This study was different from others because it took into account student learning preference and the amount of time needed for effective vocabulary instruction.