Effects of two methods of vocabulary acquisition on students with mild learning disabilities

Carolyn Rainwater Foil

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the comparative effects of two different methods for teaching vocabulary--the keywords method and a drama method--on the academic performance of high school students with mild learning disabilities. On the first day, three words were introduced through the keyword method and three through the drama method. Students practiced the six words using the prescribed method for the next two days. A weekly test was given the fourth day, and a one-week maintenance test was given the fifth day over words from the previous week. A final exam was given on all words presented at the end of four weeks to determine how many words the students had retained from the keyword method and how many from the drama method. The results of the study support the use of both methods in teaching vocabulary words. Most students preferred the drama method for learning vocabulary words to the keyword method. Even though more students retained more words through the keyword method, most were not consistent in learning more words through one method.