Vocabulary Acquisition of Kindergarten Children Using Song Picture Books

Abstract

Researchers have suggested connections between music and language development (Lamb and Gregory, 1993), wherein integrating music and literacy activities can optimize student literacy learning. In particularly, experiences that develop vocabulary through students’ participation in singing stories that are rich in phonemic patterns, such as rhyme and alliteration, are highly recommended. Combining books with music-integrated literacy experiences can additionally enhance young children’s exposure to language (Wiggins, 2007). This practice-based research was conducted in an early childhood education setting with four classrooms of kindergarten students, including students with special needs and English language learners, in a vocabulary acquisition experiment. An Analysis of Variance (one-way ANCOVA) was used with pre-tests and post-tests of students’ vocabulary prior to and after vocabulary instruction. Two song picture books were read to students and sung with students. This research study assessed whether there was a difference in students’ acquisition of vocabulary words when song was used independent of the particular song picture book. In addition, students’ classroom teachers used an observation protocol for documenting their students’ engagement with the song picture book when it was read and when it was sung. A follow-up interview with students’ teachers was conducted to identify any similarities and/or differences in student engagement. Finally, each child participating in the study was asked whether they felt singing along with the picture book helped them to learn the ten-targeted words in each of the song picture books. The results determined whether students’ singing along with a song picture book significantly increased their vocabulary acquisition.