Recent research on vocabulary development is reviewed, highlighting issues related to diverse learners. The review included studies of students who are low performers; learning or reading disabled; remedial readers; high achievers; and students who are culturally disadvantaged, language delayed, and linguistically diverse. Areas of convergence in the research literature on vocabulary acquisition are identified: vocabulary size differences among students; factors that contribute to individual differences in vocabulary development, including generalized linguistic differences, memory deficits, and poor word learning strategies; successful methods to improve the vocabularies of students with diverse learning needs; and the relation between vocabulary knowledge and reading achievement. Issues concerning the direct instructional approach to word meanings are discussed, along with the use of semantic mapping/features analysis and keyword and computer-assisted methods. A chart provides information on the studies reviewed, identifying the author(s) and year, number and type of study participants, the vocabulary dimension, and the purpose of the study. (Contains 34 references.) (SW)
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National Center To Improve the Tools of Educators, Eugene, OR.
Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.