Word Knowledge and Comprehension Effects of an Academic Vocabulary Intervention for Middle School Students

Margaret G. McKeown, Amy C. Crosson, Debra W. Moore, Isabel L. Beck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


This article presents findings from an intervention across sixth and seventh grades to teach academic words to middle school students. The goals included investigating a progression of outcomes from word knowledge to comprehension and investigating the processes students use in establishing word meaning. Participants in Year 1 were two sixth-grade reading teachers and 105 students (treatment n = 62; control n = 43) and in Year 2, one seventh-grade reading teacher and 87 students (treatment n = 44; control n = 43) from the same public school. In both years, results favored instructed students in word knowledge, lexical access, and morphological awareness on researcher-designed measures. In Year 2, small advances were also found for comprehension. Transcripts of lessons shed light on processes of developing representations of unfamiliar words.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)572-616
Number of pages45
JournalAmerican Educational Research Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education

Cite this