Effects Of Differing Vocabulary Presentations On Word Meaning Acquisition And Reading Comprehension (cloze)

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Reading and Learning Disabilities


A study was conducted to investigate if two differing vocabulary presentations had differential effects on various vocabulary and text comprehension measures. Thirty-seven college students with below average verbal ability were either assigned to a group presented 25 pseudowords with definitions, a group presented the same pseudowords and definitions plus adjoining context, or a control group. Subsequently, all groups read a stimulus passage containing the pseudowords. On two vocabulary measures both treatment groups outperformed the control group, while their means did not differ. Scores on a delayed vocabulary measure indicated that the control group failed to deduce any pseudoword meanings from the context of the stimulus passage. Vocabulary training improved text comprehension, with a multiple-choice test and a retell measure being primarily sensitive to the definition presentation and secondarily sensitive to the definition plus context presentation. A cloze test was primarily sensitive to the definition plus context presentation, with the definition group performing no better than the control group on this measure. Since studying pseudowords in context rather than learning their meanings improved cloze performance, doubt is cast on cloze as a measure of reading comprehension.


Education, Reading

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