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  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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The present article discusses the importance of deep word knowledge and reports on an empirical study on the effects of a new didactical approach in vocabulary teaching in kindergarten. All children need to learn a large number of words for adequate communication and learning at school. It is well known that there are huge differences between monolingual and bilingual children: not only in the number of words they know, but also in the depth of word knowledge. These differences have a profound effect on children's academic performances. Programs have been developed to enhance learning and vocabulary acquisition with young children, but the results in the word knowledge domain are not sufficient. The approach proposed in this article aims not only at learning more words , but also at improving the deep word knowledge. In this approach specific attention is given to concept building and the enlightening of lexical meaning relations (especially hierarchical relations, which are important in academic learning). Evaluation of the effects of this method shows that in a short period children not only learn significantly more words, but also acquire a deeper knowledge of the lexical meanings and meaning-relations between words. Both breadth and depth of vocabulary acquisition can thus be improved.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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