In a recent study in the Elementary School Journal, one researcher asked if the right kind of vocabulary instruction could be equally as effective for English learners as it is for native English speakers. Her study shows a surprising result: English learners actually acquired vocabulary more quickly than their classmates did.
The study, conducted by Rebecca Deffes Silverman while at Harvard University, shows that the right type of vocabulary instruction makes a big difference for early childhood education students. According to previous studies, vocabulary is not only “the primary determinant of future reading comprehension,” but also the “single most encountered obstacle” for English learners. But that didn’t deter any English learners in the five Kindergarten classes that Silverman studied.