Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Educational Psychology


Helen L. Johnson

Subject Categories

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Educational Psychology | Pre-Elementary, Early Childhood, Kindergarten Teacher Education


expository, kindergarten, second language learning, shared book reading, storybook, vocabulary


A Comparison of Vocabulary Learning From Joint Reading of

Narrative and Informational Books With Dual Language Learner Children

By: Deborah Bergman Deitcher

Advisor: Professor Helen L. Johnson

This study examined joint reading of narrative and informational texts in the home setting, between parents and their English-Hebrew dual language learning preschool children. Parent-child dyads were video-recorded while reading two sets of books; each set contained one narrative and one informational text on the same theme. Children's target word learning of 48 target words (12 words per book) of varying difficulty levels was measured from pretest to posttest. Results showed that children learned target words at both the receptive and expressive levels, with scores nearly tripling from pretest to posttest at the expressive level. Child's age, prior vocabulary knowledge, and target word difficulty level were significantly predictive of children's receptive word learning. Age, number of years the child was in Israel, prior vocabulary knowledge, and target word difficulty level were significantly predictive of children's expressive word learning. Contrary to expectation, book genre was not significantly predictive of word learning. However, parent book reading style differed by genre, with more overall talk, and nearly twice the number of the following elements occurring during readings of informational texts: references to vocabulary words, questions, text-to-text and text-to-reader references, restatements, and elaborations. Educational implications are discussed.



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