Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Paper

Superseded Degree Name

Master Of Arts In Special Education

Colleges & School

College Of Education And Leadership

First Advisor

Sister Gabrielle Kowalski, O.S.F.

Library of Congress Subject Heading

Vocabulary--Study and teaching; Eighth grade (Education); Language arts--Correlation with content subjects


The purpose of this action research study was to examine the relationship between content vocabulary instruction and student acquisition of that vocabulary. The research question for the study stated: “How does implementing a specific vocabulary intervention affect students’ understanding of academic content area vocabulary and influence global receptive vocabulary for 8th graders?” The design of this study is a quantitative research project and studied student results using a pretest and posttest of receptive vocabulary as well as an assessment in content specific vocabulary. The receptive vocabulary assessment from the Receptive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test, 2nd edition by Academic Therapy Publications measured students’ overall receptive language, and the content vocabulary assessment, designed by the researcher, measured understanding of specific vocabulary taught in the intervention. Robert Marzano’s Vocabulary Intervention was used as the framework for the intervention (Marzano, 2004). The independent variable was identified as the Marzano vocabulary intervention and the dependent variable was results of the listed pre and post assessments. Students participated in a 6-week intervention which included 30 minutes of vocabulary instruction, 3 days per week, totaling 90 minutes per week. Data was analyzed using a two-tailed paired t-test to compare pre and post assessment data. The p value most commonly used in education research of p= <.05 was used to determine statistical difference and determine credibility of the null hypothesis. . Results of the teacher created assessment reached statistical significance (p = 0.000044). The null hypothesis was not supported. Statistical analysis of The Receptive One-Word Picture Vocabulary (p = 0.47) supported the null hypothesis. Further research on the topic of vocabulary instruction should be conducted to foster further student success in this area.


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