Degree Date


Academic Discipline

Reading and Language

First Advisor

Peter Fisher

Second Advisor

Camille Blachowicz

Third Advisor

Jan Perney


This study examined the relationship between word consciousness and vocabulary growth by analyzing the results from a local assessment, the Word Consciousness Assessment (WCA), as well as a standardized assessment, the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests. These data came from portions of a larger study, the Multifaceted Comprehensive Vocabulary Instructional Program for the Upper Elementary Grades, which relied on a formative design with no control group. The 142 fourth and fifth grade participants came from an elementary school located in the Midwest. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were conducted to determine whether an increase in word consciousness occurred, a relationship between outcomes on the WCA and the Gates existed, and whether meaningful changes in student responses to open-ended WCA were detected. Conclusions indicated that participants made significant, while modest, gains on the WCA, but showed no relationship to the Gates results, on which they also made significant gains. Outcomes were significantly different by teacher, grade, race and language. Meaningful changes in the range and quality of responses regarding strategy and word learning approaches also occurred. Findings indicate value in fostering word consciousness in support of vocabulary and comprehension growth.