DOI: 10.1044/2023_ajslp-23-00042 ISSN: 1058-0360

An Exploration of the Nature of Vocabulary Change Following Language and Literacy Together Intervention

Lisa M. Bedore, Elizabeth D. Peña, Prarthana Shivabasappa, Cecilia Perez, Alejandro Granados Vargas, Molly Leachman, Jiali Wang
  • Speech and Hearing
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Otorhinolaryngology


This exploratory study evaluates how bilingual first graders' vocabulary use in narrative changed after a Spanish-language intervention that focuses on connection between language and literacy.


Ten Spanish–English bilingual first graders produced three English and three Spanish narratives based on the Test of Narrative Language protocol pre- and postintervention. All samples were transcribed. Based on comprehensive word inventories, all words produced by the children were identified as being core words; Tiers 1, 2, and 3 words; and/or cognates in both languages. We also coded all utterances for use of internal state terms (ISTs). We evaluated total and unique production of these kinds of words.


Postintervention children increased their total number of cognates and ISTs across languages. They also increased the unique core words, Tier 1 words, and cognates postintervention. They also used more of each of these kinds of words in Spanish—the language of intervention—than in English.


Children make qualitative changes to their vocabulary postintervention. There is greater change in the use of core words and Tier 1 words in Spanish. These increases in productivity and variability were indicated by the number of unique words added to the children's repertoires in ways that supported narrative production.

More from our Archive