The effects of explicit instruction in academic vocabulary during shared book reading on the receptive vocabulary of children with complex communication needs

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of explicit vocabulary instruction during shared reading experiences on the acquisition of receptive academic vocabulary for children with complex communication needs. A single-subject, multiple-probe design was used. Three preschool-aged children (i.e., one with autism spectrum disorder, one with developmental delay, and one with a rare genetic disorder) were each taught two sets of vocabulary words. Intervention consisted of explicit vocabulary instruction associated with shared reading of academic texts. All three children acquired 10 targeted academic vocabulary items receptively and maintained vocabulary knowledge for at least 4 weeks. Data also suggest probable generalization to new representations. Additionally, participants became more adept at learning via this method, acquiring the second vocabulary set in significantly less time. Results indicate that explicit vocabulary instruction during shared reading experiences can be effective for teaching receptive vocabulary to children with complex communication needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)288-300
Number of pages13
JournalAAC: Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Rehabilitation
  • Speech and Hearing

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