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NAEP Data Shows Link Between Vocabulary and Literacy

by Bryan Thomas Schmidt 

Since 2009, the National Assessment of Educational Progress has administered a vocabulary test to determine if there is a relationship between literacy level and word knowledge for American kids.  According to an article from Education News, the goal was to determine if understanding the meaning of words would bolster the students’ ability to figure out the meaning of a passage that contained those words.

The assessment, which runs every two years, collects data from a nationally representative sample of fourth graders, eighth graders and twelfth graders. Vocabulary questions typically quote a sentence from an included passage with a word highlighted and ask students to select from four options the meaning of the highlighted word.

The results have shown that high reading comprehension scores often align with vocabulary knowledge levels. Students who scored poorly in literacy and reading comprehension, typically have poorer vocabularies.

For more details, see the full article at

Bryan Thomas Schmidt is an author and editor of adult and children’s science fiction, fantasy and humor books, short stories and articles. A frequent contributor to blogs like SFSignalAdventures In SF PublishingGrasping For The Wind and To Be Read, he also hosts Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Chat under the hashtag #sffwrtcht on Twitter and blogs about writing and creativity on his own blog at Connect With Bryan On Google+

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