Semin Speech Lang 2019; 40(05): 344-358
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1688447
Review Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Examining Performance on a Process-Based Assessment of Word Learning in Relation to Vocabulary Knowledge and Learning in Vocabulary Intervention

Elizabeth Spencer Kelley
1  Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri
Howard Goldstein
2  Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
19 April 2019 (eFirst)


Vocabulary knowledge of young children, as a well-established predictor of later reading comprehension, is an important domain for assessment and intervention. Standardized, knowledge-based measures are commonly used by speech-language pathologists (SLPs) to describe existing vocabulary knowledge and to provide comparisons to same-age peers. Process-based assessments of word learning can be helpful to provide information about how children may respond to learning opportunities and to inform treatment decisions. This article presents an exploratory study of the relation among vocabulary knowledge, word learning, and learning in vocabulary intervention in preschool children. The study examines the potential of a process-based assessment of word learning to predict response to vocabulary intervention. Participants completed a static, knowledge-based measure of vocabulary knowledge, a process-based assessment of word learning, and between 3 and 11 weeks of vocabulary intervention. Vocabulary knowledge, performance on the process-based assessment of word learning, and learning in vocabulary intervention were strongly related. SLPs might make use of the information provided by a process-based assessment of word learning to determine the appropriate intensity of intervention and to identify areas of phonological and semantic knowledge to target during intervention.


Elizabeth Kelley and Howard Goldstein are authors of Story Friends and have a financial interest, as they receive royalties from sales of this product through Paul Brookes Publishing.