The effects of instruction using semantic mapping on vocabulary and comprehension

The study compared the effectiveness of semantic mapping and context clues on students' vocabulary and comprehension. In the semantic mapping group, the students learned new words using related known words. In the context clue group, students learned the meaning of the words using clues of word definitions embedded in rich context. Both groups received a 16-minute session three days a week for eight weeks. The sample included 44 seventh- and eighth-grade parochial school students (28 female, 16 male) from a Mexican-American community. Students' predominant language was Spanish. Mean reading scores for the whole group, based on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, were a 6.7 grade equivalent. Results of the semantic mapping treatment showed significant effects on student vocabulary outcomes as compared to the context clue group but there was no statistically significant difference between the two groups on comprehension outcome.

Margosein, C. M., Pascarella, E. T., & Pflaum, S. W.
Journal of Early Adolescence, 2, 185-194.
Related Research
Content Area: 
Grade Level: 
middle school
Instructional Support: 
opportunities to learn concepts
practice and reinforcement activities
National Reading Panel Standards: 
English Language Arts: 
Reading: Informational Text
Reading: Literature