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Morphological and vocabulary knowledge and skills in kindergarten and in first years of elementary school

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Júlia Maria Migot
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto de Psicologia
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Fraulein Vidigal de Paula; Sylvia Domingos Barrera; Fernando Cesar Capovilla
Advisor: Fraulein Vidigal de Paula

In the last few years, knowledge about the morphological dimension of language began to be investigated by Cognitive Psychology concerning its role in the learning of written language as an important element in the structuration of word meanings. This dimension focuses on the morphemes, the smallest units of meaning in language and, on the rules for the formation of words. Some studies in Brazil have confirmed that the child in early literacy process has some implicit morphological knowledge, even before becoming aware of its existence and it contributes, independently of phonological awareness, to reading and writing. The aim of this study was to assess morphological abilities in oral language in children from Kindergarten (Infantil II) and Elementary school (1st year and 2nd year), its relation with expressive vocabulary. Two assumptions underpin this study. The first concerns the existence of implicit morphological skills prior to the literacy process, considering the implicit knowledge as perceived regularities in oral language, which predispose the explicit learning of linguistic knowledge. Another hypothesis is based on the fact that the increase of the vocabulary is directly related to the increase in such abilities and vice versa. We carried out a crosscutting study, with 24 students from Infant II, 19 students in the 1st year and 21 students of 2nd year school of public schools in the city of São Paulo. Data collection involved the application of expressive Vocabulary test (ABFW Part B -Vocabulary) by which we evaluate both the words known as the lexical substitution strategies; Neologism Production Task for the purpose of evaluating the production of new words, being expected to use of prefixing and suffixing\'s strategies, and a Word Definition Task with the purpose of evaluating the definition of complex words (prefixed and suffixed), as well as the use of strategies definition according to the degree of approximation of meanings. The results were analyzed in terms of the effect of grade / age on the variables, referring to vocabulary and morphology, as well as the correlations between them, depending on the school year. The main results found give evidence of expansion of morphological knowledge in all school years studied, as well as increasing the expressive vocabulary. In the Word Definition Task and in the Neologism Production Task, participants fared better in handling items involving suffix. We observed that the knowledge of derivational morphology and vocabulary are significantly and positively correlated. We advanced in the study of how these variables are related in an increasingly stronger as the expansion of the school experience and how the children use their language skills in a productive way (AU)

FAPESP's process: 11/16905-7 - Morphologic knowledge, vocabulary and acquisition of written language at school.
Grantee:Júlia Maria Migot
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Master