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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/26430

Title: Examining the Appropriateness of the PPUT-111 as a Measure of Vocabulary Development in Linguistically Diverse Kindergarten Children
Authors: Platt, Amy E.
Advisor: Pelletier, Janette
Department: Human Development and Applied Psychology
Keywords: ELL
vocabulary
Issue Date: 1-Mar-2011
Abstract: In order to evaluate the appropriateness of a standardized vocabulary measure for linguistically diverse kindergarten children this study examined response patterns of young Canadian children using the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test –Third Edition (PPVT-III, Dunn & Dunn, 1997). Questions have been asked about whether the PPVT-III is an appropriate measure to use with young English Language Learners (ELL) because items may be culturally or linguistically biased. Further, it is of both psychometric and educational relevance to understand measurement of English vocabulary acquisition among young English First Language (EL1) and English Language Learner (ELL) children. PPVT-III scores were compared in two language groups – 52 EL1 and 73 ELL 4- and 5-year-old children. There were significant differences between the two groups in overall standard scores, with EL1 students performing significantly better than ELL students. In contrast, demographic factors of grade, gender and maternal education were not related to PPVT-III standard scores. A Mantel-Haenszel Differential Item Functioning (DIF) analysis provided a detailed picture of how individual test items functioned psychometrically in the two language groups. This analysis showed limited indications of DIF in the first 168 items of the PPVT-III, suggesting minimal test bias on the PPVT-III. Further analyses examined teachability of items, that is, how easily words can be taught, and the semantic categories of items, that is, parts of speech such as verbs, nouns and adjectives. These further analyses showed that the mean proportion of correct scores for all types of words was significantly different for EL1 and ELL children. Based on these detailed analyses it was concluded that differences in PPVT-III standard scores for EL1 and ELL 4- and 5-year-old children were not due to test bias, nor were they due to specific item properties. The mean differences observed between EL1 and ELL children were thus taken to reflect item impact, a difference in overall receptive vocabulary. In addition to establishing the utility of the PPVT-III for linguistically diverse kindergarten children this study also provides a descriptive picture of how EL1 and ELL children show variation across different types of word learning.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/26430
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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