Lexicon en taalverwerving
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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Many ethnic minority children have enormous gaps in their Dutch vocabulary. In the research described in this article it has been examined whether these children can learn new words more effectively after instruction about Dutch lexical morphology. It was expected that pupils with knowledge about the structure of words would be able to better analyze parts of the structure of unknown words.However, lexical-morphological rules contain many restrictions and irregularities, which is one of the reasons why many of these rules are acquired rather late in the language acquisition process. It was thought that explicit instruction about simple lexical morphological rules might bring about an improved awareness of structures of words.A test-retest experiment was set up in order to find empirical proof for this assumption. First a pre-test was given, in which Dutch children as well as ethnic minority children (age 12) participated. In this test the passive knowledge of nine affixes was measured. Instruction about lexical morphology was given one week afterwards. The effect of this instruction was examined in a post-test.After analyzing the results the most important hypothesis was proved: the pupils showed significant progress on the post-test. The ethnic minority children even made more progress than the Dutch children. Children appararently can become aware of structures of words through explicit instruction. The knowledge gained this way enables them to analyze new words more effectively and helps them to enlarge their passive vocabulary.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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