Assessing vocabulary depth and breadth and their role in young children’s listening comprehension

Assessing vocabulary depth and breadth and their role in young children’s listening comprehension

First Author: HsinYing Chien -- National Taitung University
Additional authors/chairs: 
Chi Shun Lien ; Yuhtsuen Tzeng
Keywords: Vocabulary, Comprehension
Abstract / Summary: 

The purposes: The aims of this study were to examine relationships between vocabulary breadth, vocabulary depth, and listening comprehension in young children. The focus of the study was to examine the construct of vocabulary knowledge and how these components were related to listening comprehension among different aged from 5 years old to 7 years old.

Method: Participants were 189 young children who were recruited from public schools in Taipei & Taitung. They were asked to complete a total of 5 tasks known to measure vocabulary breadth, depth, and listening comprehension. Importantly, vocabulary depth tasks that were thought to measure the depth component assessed synonyms, antonyms, and collocation aspects of vocabulary knowledge.

Results: First, we found that our assessments were reliable in testing vocabulary knowledge and listening comprehension for this participants. Second, the results of a path analysis showed vocabulary depth knowledge consists of at least three component s: synonyms, antonyms, and collocation. Third, we also found that vocabulary depth knowledge could be direct or indirect influences on listening comprehension ability.

Conclusions: These data demonstrate that vocabulary is a multi-dimensional construct, and vocabulary depth knowledge plays a large role in the comprehension factor. From these findings, we can propose some suggestions for vocabulary instruction for young children.