Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. Reading Education


Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Education


College of Education


Abraham, Stephanie

Committee Member 1

Browne, Susan


language processing disorders, vocabulary


Reading disability; Reading (Elementary); Motivation in education


Elementary Education and Teaching | Special Education and Teaching


The purpose of this research aimed to investigate how fifth-grade students diagnosed with processing disorders best-learned new vocabulary and the role motivation played in success. The district, school, and students were given pseudonyms in order to maintain anonymity. Over the course of three, one-week instructional periods, four students participated in six different oral and written vocabulary activities. They completed an assessment immediately following four days of instruction and again at the end of the study to measure growth in their ability to identify and use the word using a four-point scale. Based on the results of the assessments, they showed that, overall, students made gains in their ability to recall the meaning of words and to use the words appropriately in context. Motivation was measured through observations and a rating system. In the final week, when students were familiar with the expectations of the activities, motivation was at its peak and so was quality of work and assessment scores. These findings support the use of explicit vocabulary instruction with the use of various multi-modal activities in order to improve recall, long-term memory, and word retrieval for students with language processing disorders and that motivation does play a role in success.