Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours


School of Education


Faculty of Education

First Supervisor

Dr David Evans

Second Supervisor

Dr Trish Formentin

Third Supervisor

Laurie Summers


Two studies were conducted to examine the effects of specified teaching strategies on vocabulary acquisition and reading comprehension. Two methods were used to teach Grade 5 students to infer word meanings from context. The first was based on regular methods that occur within primary classrooms. The second involved a detailed strategy that gave students a step-by-step guide to deriving word meanings from context. Both groups were pretested and posttested with a developed vocabulary acquisition test and the Progressive Achievement Test of reading comprehension. A four-factor ANOVA with repeated measures was used to test the hypotheses. The first study showed no significant interaction, but indicated significant main effects for ability and time on the vocabulary measure. The study was then replicated with a more controlled treatment mode and experimental design. The second study showed a significant interaction for the Groups x Time interaction. Examination of this result revealed that the strategy method was significantly better than the regular method in improving reading comprehension over the period of the treatment. Reading comprehension scores significantly improved, despite the fact that the vocabulary acquisition scores did not significantly change over the same period. These results indicate that strategy instruction may be a viable technique for improving students' reading comprehension. However, further research is required to investigate the nature of the link that exists between reading comprehension and vocabulary acquisition.