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The influence of academic vocabulary knowledge on school performance

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Learning and Instruction Volume 49, Number 1, ISSN 0959-4752 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


While academic language is often assumed to impact children's school success, evidence for this claim is still limited. One reason is the lack of empirically sound test measures for academic language that are based on clear conceptualizations. In a study with 173 German fourth graders we investigated whether academic vocabulary knowledge predicts children's performance in school beyond general vocabulary knowledge, employing newly developed tasks to assess academic vocabulary. Analyses reveal that academic vocabulary rather than general vocabulary predicts grades in four subjects, controlling for age, gender, language background, and nonverbal cognitive abilities. These results support the claim that already in primary school academic language proficiency significantly influences academic careers.


Schuth, E., Köhne, J. & Weinert, S. (2017). The influence of academic vocabulary knowledge on school performance. Learning and Instruction, 49(1), 157-165. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved November 14, 2019 from .

This record was imported from Learning and Instruction on January 29, 2019. Learning and Instruction is a publication of Elsevier.

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