Generating Knowledge of Academic Language Among Urban Middle School Students

Lawrence, J. F., Rolland, R. G., Branum-Martin, L., & Snow, C. E. (2014). Generating vocabulary knowledge for at-risk middle school readers: Contrasting program effects and growth trajectories. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk19(2), 76–97. http://doi.org/10.1080/10824669.2014.958836

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19345740903167042

Abstract: A quasi-experimental study of a novel, cross-content area vocabulary inter- vention program called Word Generation showed significantly greater growth among 6th- to 8th-grade students in schools implementing the program than in comparison schools, on a curriculum-specific test. Furthermore, the language-minority students in the treatment, but not the comparison, schools showed greater growth than the English- only students. Improvement on the curriculum-specific test predicted performance on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) English language arts assessment, again only for students in the treatment schools. Recognizing the need to im- plement a more rigorous experimental study of this program, nonetheless we conclude that participation in the intervention, with its focus on deep reading, comprehension of current-events topics, productive classroom discussion, developing arguments, and producing persuasive essays, was a plausible contributor to student performance on the MCAS.

Funders: Development and further evaluation of Word Generation was supported by Senior Urban Education Fellowship awarded to Catherine Snow by the Council of Great City Schools (https://www.cgcs.org). Joshua Lawrence was supported by funds awarded to Catherine Snow by the Spencer Foundation (https://www.spencer.org) and the Carnegie Corporation of New York (https://www.carnegie.org). This research was made possible through grants from IES (R305A050056). https://ies.ed.gov

Related Links: http://doi.org/10.1080/10824669.2014.958836

Related Paper(s): Lawrence, J. F., Rolland, R. G., Branum-Martin, L., & Snow, C. E. (2014). Generating vocabulary knowledge for at-risk middle school readers: Contrasting program effects and growth trajectories. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk19(2), 76–97. http://doi.org/10.1080/10824669.2014.958836