Measures and References: Vocabulary

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Numerous measures exist to gain a full picture of a student's learning strengths and challenges. Following are examples of measures used to assess this Learner Factor. These measures should be administered and interpreted by experienced professionals.

Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) (Dunn & Dunn, 2007): Measures Receptive Vocabulary

Language Sample (Miller & Iglesias, 2012): Measures Productive Vocabulary by tracking number of different words (types), total number of words (tokens), and type-token ratio, with a high type-token ratio indicating a rich Vocabulary


Best, J. R., Miller, P. H., & Naglieri, J. A. (2011). Relations between executive function and academic achievement from ages 5 to 17 in a large, representative national sample. Learning and Individual Differences, 21(4), 327-336.

Chou, P. T. M. (2011). The effects of vocabulary knowledge and background knowledge on reading comprehension of Taiwanese EFL students. Electronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 8(1), 108-115.

Connor, C. M., Son, S. H., Hindman, A. H., & Morrison, F. J. (2005). Teacher qualifications, classroom practices, family characteristics, and preschool experience: Complex effects on first graders' vocabulary and early reading outcomes. Journal of School Psychology, 43(4), 343-375.

Currie, N. K., & Cain, K. (2015). Children's inference generation: The role of vocabulary and working memory. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 137, 57-75.

Davidse, N. J., de Jong, M. T., Bus, A. G., Huijbregts, S. C. J., & Swaab, H. (2011). Cognitive and environmental predictors of early literacy skills. Reading and Writing, 24(4), 395-412.

Fagan, M. K. (2016). Spoken vocabulary development in deaf children with and without cochlear implants. The Oxford Handbook of Deaf Studies in Language, 132-145.

Goswami, U. (2001). Early phonological development and the acquisition of literacy. Handbook of Early Literacy Research, 1, 111-125.

Harms, T., Clifford, R. M., & Cryer, D. (1998). Early childhood environment rating scale. Revised edition. New York, NY: Teachers College Press, Columbia University.

Hoff, E. (2003a). The specificity of environmental influence: Socioeconomic status affects early vocabulary development via maternal speech. Child Development, 74(5), 1368-1378.

Hoff, E. (2003b). Causes and consequences of SES-related differences in parent-to-child speech. In M.H. Bornstein & R.H. Bradley (Eds.), Socioeconomic Status, Parenting, and Child Development (pp. 147-160). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.

Hoff, E., Core, C., Place, S., Rumiche, R., Señor, M., & Parra, M. (2012). Dual language exposure and early bilingual development. Journal of Child Language, 39(1), 1-27.

Kim, Y. S., Al Otaiba, S., Puranik, C., Folsom, J. S., & Gruelich, L. (2014). The contributions of vocabulary and letter writing automaticity to word reading and spelling for kindergartners. Reading and Writing, 27(2), 237-253.

Leung, C. B. (2008). Preschoolers' acquisition of scientific vocabulary through repeated read-aloud events, retellings, and hands-on science activities. Reading Psychology, 29(2), 165-193.

Levelt, W.J.M., Roelofs, A., & Meyer, A.S. (1999). A theory of lexical access in speech production. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 22, 1-75.

Mancilla‐Martinez, J., & Lesaux, N. K. (2011). The gap between Spanish speakers' word reading and word knowledge: A longitudinal study. Child Development, 82(5), 1544-1560.

Marchman, V. A., Fernald, A., & Hurtado, N. (2010). How vocabulary size in two languages relates to efficiency in spoken word recognition by young Spanish-English bilinguals. Journal of Child Language, 37(04), 817-840.

Morra, S., & Camba, R. (2009). Vocabulary learning in primary school children: Working memory and long-term memory components. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 104(2), 156-178.

Nagy, W., Berninger, V., Abbott, R., Vaughan, K., & Vermeulen, K. (2003). Relationship of Morphology and Other Language Skills to Literacy Skills in At-Risk Second-Grade Readers and At-Risk Fourth-Grade Writers. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95(4), 730-742.

Ouellette, G. P. (2006). What's meaning got to do with it: The role of vocabulary in word reading and reading comprehension. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98(3), 554-566.

Pan, B. A., Rowe, M. L., Singer, J. D., & Snow, C. E. (2005). Maternal correlates of growth in toddler vocabulary production in low‐income families. Child Development, 76(4), 763-782.

Pianta, R. C., La Paro, K. M., & Hamre, B. K. (2008). Classroom assessment scoring system [CLASS] manual: Pre-K. Baltimore, MD: Brookes.

Rowe, M. L. (2012). A longitudinal investigation of the role of quantity and quality of child‐directed speech in vocabulary development. Child Development, 83(5), 1762-1774.

Senechal, M., & LeFevre, J. A. (2002). Parental involvement in the development of children's reading skill: A five‐year longitudinal study. Child Development, 73(2), 445-460.

Sharkey, P. (2010). The acute effect of local homicides on children's cognitive performance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(26), 11733-11738.

Smith, M. W., Dickinson, D. K., Sangeorge, A., & Anastasopoulos, L. (2002). User's guide to the Early Language & Literacy Classroom Observation toolkit: Research edition. Baltimore, MD: Brookes.

Spira, E. G., Bracken, S. S., & Fischel, J. E. (2005). Predicting improvement after first-grade reading difficulties: The effects of oral language, emergent literacy, and behavior skills. Developmental Psychology, 41(1), 225-234.

Stahl, S., & Nagy, W. (2006). Teaching word meanings. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Vandewalle, E., Boets, B., Boons, T., Ghesquiere, P., & Zink, I. (2012). Oral language and narrative skills in children with specific language impairment with and without literacy delay: A three-year longitudinal study. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 33, 1857-1870.

Vohr, B., Jodoin-Krauzyk, J., Tucker, R., Topol, D., Johnson, M. J., Ahlgren, M., & Pierre, L. (2011). Expressive vocabulary of children with hearing loss in the first 2 years of life: impact of early intervention. Journal of Perinatology, 31(4), 274-280.

Weiland, C., Ulvestad, K., Sachs, J., & Yoshikawa, H. (2013). Associations between classroom quality and children's vocabulary and executive function skills in an urban public prekindergarten program. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 28(2), 199-209.