Deriving word meanings from context: does explanation facilitate contextual analysis?
Version of Record online: 10 APR 2007
Journal of Research in Reading
Volume 30, Issue 4, pages 347–359, November 2007
How to Cite
Cain, K. (2007), Deriving word meanings from context: does explanation facilitate contextual analysis?. Journal of Research in Reading, 30: 347–359. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9817.2007.00336.x
- Issue online: 10 APR 2007
- Version of Record online: 10 APR 2007
- Received 19 May 2006; revised version received 30 November 2006.
The ability to derive the meanings of words from supportive story contexts was studied in 45 7- to 8-year-olds. Children read short stories each containing a different novel word and defined the word at the end of each story. There were three intervention sessions. One group was asked to justify their definition and subsequently received feedback on its accuracy. A second group was given feedback first and asked to explain how the experimenter knew the correct answer. A third (control) received feedback only. In general, practice led to improved performance, with an increased number of children in all groups using the story context to derive meanings for the novel words in a post-intervention test. Children in the two explanation groups made the greatest gains in definition accuracy. The implications for teaching vocabulary learning skills are discussed.