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You are here: Home / News & Events / CLS Speaker Series / CLS Speaker Series - Amy Crosson (Penn State, College of Education) Effects of Vocabulary and Morphology Interventions with Adolescent Language Minority Learners

CLS Speaker Series - Amy Crosson (Penn State, College of Education) Effects of Vocabulary and Morphology Interventions with Adolescent Language Minority Learners

When Apr 20, 2018
from 09:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Where Moore 127
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Effects of Vocabulary and Morphology Interventions

with Adolescent Language Minority Learners


In this presentation I will share my on-going, school-based intervention research with language minority adolescents, carried out in collaboration with the Pittsburgh Public Schools and the Salt Lake City School District. These studies, funded by the Spencer Foundation and the Institute for Education Sciences, are designed to investigate whether robust academic vocabulary instruction infused with morphological analysis of bound Latin roots (e.g., analysis of the relation between innovative and its bound root, nov) enhances word learning and comprehension outcomes for language minority (LM) adolescents.  Theory suggests that morphological knowledge is a critical component of lexical representations, binding a word’s phonological, orthographic and semantic features (Perfetti & Hart, 2007).  We hypothesized that instruction in bound Latin roots would a) produce stronger outcomes for learning academic words by strengthening semantic and orthographic representations, and b) equip students with morphological analysis skills to problem-solve new words. Measures included an experimental assessment of multidimensional word knowledge, a lexical decision task, and a dynamic assessment of morphological problem-solving, among others.  Results to date show large treatment effects for morphological problem-solving of unfamiliar words and suggest positive treatment effect on lexical access, lending partial support to the hypothesis that instruction about bound Latin roots contributes to LM adolescents’ word learning. In future work, I hope to draw on theory and methodological approaches from the language sciences to shed light on word learning and the effects of language-focused interventions with LM learners in public school settings.