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Children's early reading vocabulary: description and word frequency lists

Stuart, M; Dixon, M; Masterson, J; Gray, B; (2003) Children's early reading vocabulary: description and word frequency lists. British Journal of Educational Psychology , 73 (4) pp. 585-598. 10.1348/000709903322591253.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: When constructing stimuli for experimental investigations of cognitive processes in early reading development, researchers have to rely on adult or American children's word frequency counts, as no such counts exist for English children. AIM: The present paper introduces a database of children's early reading vocabulary, for use by researchers and teachers. SAMPLE: Texts from 685 books from reading schemes and story books read by 5-7 year-old children were used in the construction of the database. METHOD: All words from the 685 books were typed or scanned into an Oracle database. RESULTS: The resulting up-to-date word frequency list of early print exposure in the UK is available in two forms from a website address given in this paper. This allows access to one list of the words ordered alphabetically and one list of the words ordered by frequency. We also briefly address some fundamental issues underlying early reading vocabulary (e.g., that it is heavily skewed towards low frequencies). Other characteristics of the vocabulary are then discussed. CONCLUSIONS: We hope the word frequency lists will be of use to researchers seeking to control word frequency, and to teachers interested in the vocabulary to which young children are exposed in their reading material.

Type: Article
Title: Children's early reading vocabulary: description and word frequency lists
Location: England
DOI: 10.1348/000709903322591253
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1348/000709903322591253
Language: English
Keywords: Age Factors, Child, Child, Preschool, Female, Humans, Male, Periodicity, Reading, Vocabulary
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1482832
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