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Improving Elementary Grade Students’ Science and Social Studies Vocabulary Knowledge Depth, Reading Comprehension, and Argumentative Writing: a Conceptual Replication

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Improving Elementary Grade Students’ Science and Social Studies Vocabulary Knowledge Depth, Reading Comprehension, and Argumentative Writing: a Conceptual Replication

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This experimental study aimed to replicate and extend a previous efficacy study of an elementary grade content literacy intervention that demonstrated positive effects on students’ vocabulary knowledge depth, argumentative writing, and reading comprehension. Using a cluster (school) randomized trial design, this replication experiment was conducted with 5,494 first- and second-grade students in 30 elementary schools in an urban school district located in the southeastern USA. Teachers implemented thematic lessons (20 lessons) that provided an intellectual framework for helping students who acquire networks of related vocabulary knowledge while learning science and social studies content. Teachers integrated thematic lessons, concept mapping, and interactive read-alouds of conceptually related informational texts to enable their students to build networks of vocabulary knowledge and to transfer this knowledge to argumentative writing and collaborative research activities. Confirmatory analyses replicated positive findings on science vocabulary knowledge depth (ES = 0.50) and argumentative writing (ES = 0.24) and also extended positive findings to social studies vocabulary knowledge depth (ES = 0.56) and argumentative writing (ES = 0.44). Positive and statistically significant findings were not replicated on domain-general reading comprehension. Exploratory analyses indicated that students’ vocabulary knowledge depth partially mediated the impact of content literacy instruction on domain-specific argumentative writing outcomes.
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REPLICATION
Improving Elementary Grade StudentsScience
and Social Studies Vocabulary Knowledge Depth,
Reading Comprehension, and Argumentative Writing:
a Conceptual Replication
James S. Kim
1
&Jackie Eunjung Relyea
2
&Mary A. Burkhauser
1
&Ethan Scherer
1
&
Patrick Rich
1
Accepted: 22 February 2021 /
#The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2021
Abstract
This experimental study aimed to replicate and extend a previous efficacy study of an
elementary grade content literacy intervention that demonstrated positive effects on
studentsvocabulary knowledge depth, argumentative writing, and reading comprehen-
sion. Using a cluster (school) randomized trial design, this replication experiment was
conducted with 5,494 first- and second-grade students in 30 elementary schools in an
urban school district located in the southeastern USA. Teachers implemented thematic
lessons (20 lessons) that provided an intellectual framework for helping students who
acquire networks of related vocabulary knowledge while learning science and social
studies content. Teachers integrated thematic lessons, concept mapping, and interactive
read-alouds of conceptually related informational texts to enable their students to build
networks of vocabulary knowledge and to transfer this knowledge to argumentative
writing and collaborative research activities. Confirmatory analyses replicated positive
findings on science vocabulary knowledge depth (ES = 0.50) and argumentative writing
(ES = 0.24) and also extended positive findings to social studies vocabulary knowledge
depth (ES = 0.56) and argumentative writing (ES = 0.44). Positive and statistically
significant findings were not replicated on domain-general reading comprehension.
Exploratory analyses indicated that studentsvocabulary knowledge depth partially
mediated the impact of content literacy instruction on domain-specific argumentative
writing outcomes.
Keywords Replication .Content literacy intervention .Randomized controlled trial .Science
vocabulary knowledge depth .Social studies vocabulary knowledge depth .Reading
comprehension .Argumentative writing
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-021-09609-6
Extended author information available on the last page of the article
Published online: 6 April 2021
Educational Psychology Review (2021) 33:1935–1964
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
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