When Does Warmness Become Warmth? An Investigation of Children's Vocabulary Acquisition Through Their Writing
This study examined differences between third and fifth graders in the use of morphologically complex words in written and oral storytelling, as well as how morphological awareness predicted the use of morphologically complex words in written storytelling after factors of phonology, spelling, and vocabulary were taken into account. Forty-one third graders and 28 fifth graders were administered a series of tests that assessed literacy abilities. Additionally, participants composed oral and written narratives based on a picture prompt. The stories were analyzed for the use of morphologically complex words. Results revealed that fifth graders used more morphologically complex words than third graders, and participants used more morphologically complex words in their oral stories than in their written stories. As a set, phonological awareness, spelling, morphological awareness, and vocabulary predicted the use of morphologically complex words, but no predictors were unique. Educational implications are discussed.