Department of Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education


First Advisor

Guy Trainin

Date of this Version


Document Type



Deng, Q. (2016). The Effect of a Self-regulated Vocabulary Intervention on Word Knowledge, Reading Comprehension, and Self-regulated Learning for Elementary English Language Learners (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Educational Studies, Under the Supervision of Professor Guy Trainin. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2016

Copyright (c) 2016 Qizhen Deng


English language learners (ELLs) represent an increasing population in U.S. public schools. Research reports from the past two decades suggest a persistent reading underachievement for ELLs. Academic vocabulary knowledge, due to its frequent use in academic texts, contributes significantly to ELL children’s English language development, reading comprehension, and general academic achievement. However, a gap of vocabulary knowledge exists between ELLs and their mainstream peers. One potential approach to address this issue is to help ELLs become mastery independent and proactive word learners. This study examined the effect of a researcher-led self-regulated vocabulary intervention on word knowledge, reading comprehension, and self-regulated learning in social studies for upper elementary ELLs. Self-regulatory word-learning strategies were guided by Michael Graves’ (2006) discussion of task-specific word learning strategies, and by Barry Zimmerman and Dale Schunk’s (2000) self-regulated learning theory from a social cognitive perspective. Specifically, the intervention instruction involved (1) task-specific cognitive strategies including morphological analysis and contextual analysis (i.e., how to use word parts and context clues to learn words), and (2) metacognitive strategies including goal-setting and monitoring (i.e., set goals and monitor their word learning and reading comprehension). A single-case experimental design was conducted with multiple-baseline design across subjects with 9 ELL children for 16 sessions, 3 sessions per week, and about 30 minutes per session.

Advisor: Guy Trainin