The sheer quantity of words known (breadth) is strongly predictive of reading comprehension, yet little is understood about how quality of word knowledge (depth) affects comprehension. A group of 35 bilingual and monolingual 5th-grade students worked on developing depth of knowledge of 8 words, culminating in an activity in which the students produced captions for images related to each word. The captions were scored using a 4-point depth scale, and similarities and differences between bilingual and monolingual students were assessed. Results indicated a significant effect of depth of word knowledge in predicting reading comprehension, particularly for students with average to strong oral language skills.
Snow, C. E., & Uccelli, P. (2009). The challenge of academic language. In D. R. Olson & N. Torrance (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of literacy (pp. 112-133) . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Snow, C. E., & Uccelli, P. (2009). The Challenge of Academic Language. In D. R. Olson & N. E. Torrance (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Literacy (pp. 112–133) . Cambridge University Press.
Summary This chapter contains section titled: The Main Streams of Work in Educational Linguistics What are the Desired Educational Outcomes? What do Teachers Need to Know about Language? How do We Foster the Desired Linguistic Outcomes for Students and Teachers? Conclusion