Effects of interactive vocabulary instruction on the vocabulary learning and reading comprehension of junior-high learning disabled students

The study examined the effectiveness of interactive strategies, including semantic mapping, semantic feature analysis, and semantic/syntactic feature analysis, against definition instruction. Students were grouped into four intervention conditions: semantic mapping, semantic feature analysis, semantic/syntactic feature analysis, or definition instruction. Students received instruction in small groups within each condition for eight 50-minute sessions over seven weeks. The study included 61 students (41 males) with disabilities from middle- and lower-middle class junior high schools in two school districts in a large, metro area in the Southwest. The mean age of the participants was 13.8 years. Students participating in the interactive strategies demonstrated greater comprehension and vocabulary learning on multiple-choice items than students receiving definition instruction. Students in the semantic feature analysis and semantic/syntactic feature analysis conditions demonstrated better written recalls in the long term than students in the definition instruction condition.

Bos, C. S., & Anders, P. L.
Learning Disability Quarterly, 13(1), 31-42.
Related Research
Content Area: 
Grade Level: 
middle school
IDEA Disability Category: 
specific learning disability
Instructional Support: 
opportunities to learn concepts
practice and reinforcement activities
National Reading Panel Standards: 
English Language Arts: 
Reading: Informational Text
Reading: Literature