Vocabulary Use Across Genres: Implications for Students with Complex Communication Needs

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TitleVocabulary Use Across Genres: Implications for Students with Complex Communication Needs
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractPurpose This study examined the vocabulary words and multiword sequences used by 124 typically developing kindergarten and 1st-grade students when they wrote about self-selected topics. The study extends previous research by examining the vocabulary used in different genres. Method A total of 457 writing samples were analysed. The samples were classified according to 9 genres and were analysed using the Child Language Analysis (MacWhinney, 2006) software program. Results The authors found that 140 words represented 70% of the vocabulary produced. The most common genre types were narrative recounts and opinions. The patterns of frequency for words and multiword sequences varied across genres. The degree of variation was greater for particular vocabulary words. For instance, the word going was used predominantly in 1 genre. In contrast, the word mom was used in every genre except 3. The structure words tended to be used with high frequency across genres. Conclusion The word lists generated can be used to inform vocabulary selection, organization, and instruction for students with complex communication needs who are beginning writers.
AuthorsClendon, S. A., Sturm J M., and Cali K. S.
Year of Publication2013
PublicationLanguage, Speech & Hearing Services in Schools
ISSN1061-1461 (print) 1558-9129 (online)
Publisher DOI
Keywords (MeSH)child, child language, communication aids for disabled, language tests, vocabulary, writing