Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Modern Languages

First Advisor

Maria Fionda

Second Advisor

Felice Coles

Third Advisor

Maria Fionda


University of Mississippi

Relational Format



This qualitative experimental study aims to investigate the learning outcomes of foreign-language cognate vocabulary in preschool children with the use of story reading; more specifically, how the frequency of appearance of the words in children's stories affect the learning outcomes of foreign-language cognate vocabulary and how the children's retention of highly similar cognates compares to that of partial cognates. Stories are believed to be an authentic and credible source of knowledge; they make information more memorable and promote active meaning making (Rossiter, 2002). The procedure includes six sessions with the children for each story: 1. a vocabulary pre-test before each story reading; 2. three story-reading sessions; 3. a vocabulary post-test immediately after each story reading; 4. a delayed vocabulary post-test two weeks after the final reading session to examine long-term memory retention. The results show that the children’s learning outcomes were high, retaining a 100% of the target words. The positive aspects that this research taught about teaching language to preschool children include enabling them to easily recognize words, facilitating learning and memorization of words and motivating active participation and meaning-making, therefore, second language teachers should work more with well-known stories for the children, repeating at least three times each story reading, using target vocabulary which can be repeated in other stories, using images that go with the target words and letting children participate during the story readings.



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