Children’s productive use of academic vocabulary

Children’s productive use of academic vocabulary

Public Lectures


Can children acquire academic vocabulary words from participating in classroom discussion? If they can, how does the process work?

University Scholar and Professor Emeritus
University of Illinois

A study involving 229 poor minority fifth graders and 325 general academic vocabulary words investigated the role of collaborative classroom discussion in children’s acquisition and productive use of academic words. Multilevel logistic regression analyses with crossed random factors examined the likelihood that a student would use academic words in an essay depending on how frequently the student and the student’s peers had used the words in a preceding discussion, after controlling for prior knowledge of the words, the frequency of the words in printed instructional materials, and students’ talkativeness and reading comprehension.